This time of year is always an exciting one, but this weekend is particularly nail biting for me. Hailing from Brisbane, I am already excited about the possibility of the Broncos taking out the NRL Grand Final, but to top it off this year we are also running a trial of LTE-Broadcast (LTE-B) in the Telstra Connected Lounge at ANZ Stadium.

This is another showcase of LTE-B at a major event, following the world first stadium demonstration at the T20 International Cricket Match at the MCG in February 2014, the Spring Racing Carnival in Melbourne in November 2014, and the V8 Supercars at Winton earlier this year. So, in case you’ve forgotten what LTE-B is, put simply it is the future of mobile content and will change the way customers experience live sporting events – or any big events for that matter.

Guests in the Telstra Connected Lounge tonight will be able to access three streams of dedicated content from Channel 9 that will be delivered to a series of LTE-B enabled smartphones through an app, allowing them to browse between live commentary, instant replays and stats of the match as it plays out before them.

Not only does this have the potential to be a game-changing technology to take sporting events to the next level (especially if you’re sitting in the nose bleed section!), it also important from a network perspective as it will allow carriers like Telstra to efficiently manage network traffic.

With demand for mobile data continuing to surge, the network experience can sometimes suffer when tens of thousands of people descend into one place, such as ANZ Stadium, and all try to access the internet at the same time.

LTE-B provides the opportunity to deliver in-demand or popular content using one single stream of data, as opposed to each individual user downloading their own stream of data. This will then free up the network to deal with general use and allow us to continue to deliver a world-class mobile service to our customers.

Stay tuned as more smartphones become LTE-B enabled and enter the market, and we work towards making this capability commercially available in the next six to 12 months.

What sort of content would you want instant access to during a live sporting match or event?

Thanks to our LTE-B partners for helping bring this demonstration to life:

  • Channel Nine (Live Broadcast Footage)
  • Expway (eMBMS Middleware Provider)
  • Intellicore (Application Developer)
  • EVS (Broadcast Video Production – replays & multiple camera angles)
  • Ericsson (eMBMS)
  • Samsung (Devices)

What is LTE-B?
LTE-Broadcast (LTE-B) is a new service that allows Telstra to send a single content stream to multiple handsets (i.e. one to many), where previously this required individual content streams to be sent to each individual handset (i.e. one to one).

How does LTE-B enhance my mobile video experience?

This technology enables Telstra and content partners to create and deliver feature rich and HD mobile video experiences more efficiently to our customers and event patrons. For the NRL Grand Final, we are introducing feature rich experiences that provide control for customers, and full HD content, faster than streaming.

When will LTE-B be available for consumers and how much will Telstra charge consumers to use it?

We’re working to make LTE-B technology available for our customers with our existing sports properties, e.g. AFL and NRL content by the start of the 2016 footy season. Pricing and data usage details are still being finalised and will be confirmed closer to commercial launch.

Can LTE-B only be used in stadiums? Where else could customers benefit from LTE-B being rolled out?

Initially Telstra’s LTE-B capabilities will be available on LTE-B capable devices in some 4G areas of the Telstra mobile network. Telstra LTE-B will eventually be available for LTE-B capable devices wherever our customers can access 4G coverage on the Telstra mobile network.