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A change of ‘MooD’ for live streaming

Network

Posted on December 18, 2017

3 min read

A change of ‘MooD’ for live streaming as this world first technology helps avoid the “thousand dollar screen and ten cent stream” outcome.

With the explosion in real time consumption of mobile video streaming being driven by major events and sports, there is an emerging threat to the performance of mobile networks as peak demand may swamp network cell capacity.

The use of LTE-Broadcast technology changes the underlying efficiency of live video delivery as each cell can now support an unlimited number of users watching the same content with improved overall quality. To date though, LTE-B technology has required that a dedicated part of each cell’s capacity be set aside for broadcasting. This had made the LTE-B business case harder to prove in for lower streaming demand rates.

This has now changed as Telstra and our partners have enabled the world’s first implementation of the Multicast Operation on Demand (MooD) feature whereby cells in the network only need to configure for LTE-B when there are multiple users watching the same content.

This combined with the Service Continuity feature allows mobile users to move around the network seamlessly between cells configured for LTE-B and those which are not.

Earlier this year we announced our intention to enable LTE-Broadcast (LTE-B) across our entire mobile network in 2018. With MooD and service continuity we are one step closer to that goal as we head into another year of major growth in sporting content demand.

Supported by technology partners Ericsson and Qualcomm, Telstra has now delivered world first capability to ensure LTE-B can be delivered as efficiently as possible.

Service Continuity will allow devices to transition in and out of LTE-B coverage areas without interruption. For instance, you might be at a music festival streaming an event on your phone but need to leave the venue and make your way back home (where LTE-B is not in use). Service Continuity means you can continue to watch the stream and the transition will be seamless – even though you have the left the broadcast area.

Taking that a step further, MooD allows the network to determine how many LTE-B compatible devices in any given area are consuming the same content. MooD then intelligently activates or deactivates LTE-B, ensuring the mobile network is as efficient as possible in that location.

For example, if a die-hard football fan is streaming a match we will likely service that one user with unicast, as that is the most efficient way of delivering the content. However if more users in the same cell decide to watch the match, MooD makes the decision automatically as to whether it is more efficient to service those users by switching the stream to broadcasting instead of individual unicast streams.

With the ever growing demand for data and video, these enhanced LTE-B capabilities will enable Telstra to deliver streaming and data services seamlessly and at scale but continue to provide a greater quality of experience for our customers.

Putting footy fans first in 2018

Entertainment

Posted on October 6, 2017

4 min read

As Grand Final weekend delivered the very best in sporting action on the field, several major sporting milestones were achieved off the field, with Telstra’s AFL and NRL Live Apps hitting huge uplifts in audience numbers for both games compared to last year.

On Saturday, the AFL Official Live App – created by Telstra – hit a new record with the unique audience across the match 74% higher than in 2016. In addition, fans streamed 5.5 million minutes of footy action on that day alone – 201% more minutes of AFL action compared to last year’s Grand Final.

On Sunday, live streaming of the 2017 NRL Grand final followed suit; unique viewers of the live game were up 97% on last year, with fans streaming 245% more minutes of Grand Final rugby league action than 2016.

The popularity of our Live Apps, along with the Telstra Live Pass giving Telstra customers access to premium content live, fast and data free speaks for itself.

Telstra introduced a host of new features and innovations to the AFL Live app in season 2017, including a new user interface and player tracking, that revolutionised the way Telstra customers could engage with the game and their favourite players – by putting them in the coach’s seat.

We are now looking forward to launching the new NRL official live app for 2018 with Telstra exclusives to be announced next year – as we embark on a new five-year digital partnership with the NRL, fans will benefit from a new NRL Official Live App in 2018.

In December, the new NRL Official App, created by Telstra Media’s Product Innovation team, will launch in preparation for the 2018 Telstra Premiership season.

Taking a fan-first approach we have redesigned the app in collaboration with our colleagues at the NRL. Using fan personas and an agile approach to the rebuild, we will align with the visual design and usability of the new NRL.com responsive sites.

The 2018 NRL Official App will have a cleaner look throughout the news and draw pages, giving users an uncluttered look at articles and fixtures. And there will be more team and player stats available creating an increasingly engaging environment for footy fans.

Telstra customers will also have access to special features in the app throughout the 2018 season, such as augmented reality ‘Facepaint’ which was a popular and sharable feature during State of Origin and the Finals Series this year.

But of course, the live stream remains the hero of the app because we know fans want to watch footy from wherever they are, live, fast and data free.

Our ambition at Telstra is to be a world class technology company and this is really showcased in our sports products. We have amazing depth in terms of the product capability in our team, and when you put this together with our local sports rights and relationships with the sporting bodies – we’re leading the way in terms of building amazing sports products and experiences for Australian fans.

For sports fans, their mobile devices keep them connected to live sport which they may otherwise miss due to busy lifestyles, as we just saw fans watch on the beat in their police cars, in the outback, from rooftops, hilltops, weddings, offices, farms and even from the bottom of a swimming pool.

With NRL Live Pass subscribers up 260% year-on-year for season 2017, and with more than 650,000 unique visitors visiting the app 3.6 million times per round – we know these fans, and more, will be back in 2018.

For now, it’s our job to keep adding features, testing and enhancing the user experience to give NRL fans even more reasons to interact with the app in the year ahead.

Until then, you can continue to keep up to date with all the latest NRL news, including the soon to be released 2018 Telstra Premiership draw, the Rugby League World Cup and any off-season player transfers, all on the NRL Official App.

Keep an eye out for the new-look NRL app in early December.

Tags: sport, streaming,

Gold Coast SUN’s Tom Lynch talks sport streaming

Entertainment

Posted on September 29, 2017

2 min read

Last week, Melbourne Storm Captain Cameron Smith revealed to us he catches the footy on the massage table, and an unnamed teammate was caught out streaming the game at a christening!

The demand by both players and consumers to stream mobile sports on-the-move is rapidly increasing. This year, we announced a 500 per cent year on year growth[1] in Live Pass subscribers across Super Netball, AFL and NRL.

AFL Live App subscribers now total over 1 million, a gain of 760,000 new sign-ups this year alone. Footy-mad fans tuned into an average of 38 minutes per 2017 Toyota AFL Premiership Season game via the Official Live App, totalling a whopping 325 million streamed minutes!

The average audience per game was 50,000, and the most watched game was Geelong’s astonishing three-point victory over Hawthorn in Round 17, watched by 91,960 fans. But it was the GWS GIANTS who took the crown for the most watched club on the Live App, with 1 million fans.

Telstra-partnered Official Live Passes available on mobile devices keep fans connected to live sport which they may otherwise miss due to busy lifestyles – and this year’s unprecedented growth in digital streaming positions Telstra as the leading digital sports network in Australia.

We met Tom Lynch for a lively chat about how he and his teammates catch the game, as we head into one of the biggest sporting weekends of the year. Enjoy.

AFL Live Pass. Stream it live, fast and data-free. Included in all Telstra mobile plans and select recharges. For more information, visit https://www.telstra.com.au/tv-movies-music/sports-offer.

[1] Live Pass subscribers’ vs 2016, July 2017

Cameron Smith chats Stream Teams as footy finals series underway

Entertainment

Posted on September 22, 2017

2 min read

In a three-part series, Telstra speaks to players from the AFL, NRL and Netball about their season, and what Telstra-partnered Official Live Passes reveal about the season’s top games, clubs and the fans that watch them.

Six months ago, we predicted a landmark year for live mobile sports streaming in Australia. Since then, eligible Telstra mobile customers have streamed their favourite sports live, fast and data free via official Telstra AFL, NRL and Netball Live passes, and all three apps available online.

Demand has been unprecedented – in August we announced a 500 per cent year on year growth[1] in Live Pass subscribers for all three codes so far for the season. The subscriber uplift in 2017 equates to 1.5 million fans[2], with 5.45 million unique sports lovers tuning into AFL, NRL and Super Netball games every month via Telstra-partnered official mobile apps and websites.

With NRL Live App subscribers now totalling over half a million, an astounding 260 per cent increase since 2016, the unprecedented growth in digital streaming positions Telstra as the leading sports network in Australia.

The changing nature of mobile sports consumption, plus the extraordinary demand for sports mad fans to stream their favourite sport anywhere, at any time is evolving Telstra’s Live Pass products.

We met Melbourne Storm Captain Cameron Smith to look back over the NRL season, both on the pitch and in the NRL Live App, and find out how he and his team mates catch the game.

NRL Live Pass. Stream it live, fast and data-free. Included in all Telstra mobile plans and select recharges. For more information, visit https://www.telstra.com.au/tv-movies-music/sports-offer.

[1] Live Pass subscribers’ vs 2016, July 2017

[2] 1.45 million new Live Pass subscribers since 31 February 2017