ITN to use Vodafone 5G SA for Coronation coverage | Mobile | News | Rapid TV News
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What is being described as an “innovative” partnership between news provider ITN and telco Vodafone is to see the forthcoming Coronation of King Charles III mark the first time in the UK that a public 5G Standalone (5G SA) network has used for a major event broadcast.
ITN Vodafone 4May2023
The partnership will see ITN take a dedicated slice of Vodafone’s public 5GSA network for the broadcast of the Coronation on 6 May 2023. Dedicating an exclusive slice of Vodafone’s public 5GSA network to ITN is designed to enable the swift and secure transfer of the live Coronation broadcast coverage from Westminster to ITN’s HQ newsroom in Gray’s Inn Road, so it can then be shared across the nation and then worldwide.

Recently described by the UK Government as the “cornerstone of the UK’s digital economy,  network slicing is seen as an exciting development in the broadcasting industry for two reasons. Firstly, a minimum upload speed threshold can be set to guarantee that digitally dense content is uploaded quickly and reliably for live streaming. Secondly, it removes the risk of network congestion impacting the performance of the broadcast. This is particularly relevant for mass events such as the Coronation as well as for live content contribution in isolated locations.

Vodafone added that as media organisations become increasingly reliant on connectivity networks for outside broadcast, achieving predictable network performance has become essential. It said that while mobile private networks are a common technology used but these can require heavy-duty equipment. They are also time-consuming as advance planning is needed to get permission for a private network.

The bottom line said the telco was that network slicing gives broadcasters a simpler and quicker alternative to deploying their own private mobile network for video transmission with no extra heavy-duty equipment, planning, back-office or spectrum licensing needed, and it can be accessed via a SIM card.

Commenting on the deployment Jon Roberts, director of television, production and innovation at ITN, said: “It feels fitting that 70 years on from the 1953 Coronation, itself a milestone in outside broadcasting, ITN will be delivering coverage to audiences around the world whilst trialling the future of cellular connectivity. We are proud of our role in broadcasting this historic event, and excited to be blazing a trail in partnership with Vodafone as we explore the capabilities of 5GSA technology together.”

Capability testing of the 5GSA setup was supported by Vodafone technology partner Ericsson and ITN’s technology partner LiveU. This was carried out at the Vodafone and Coventry University’s 5GSA Media Innovation Lab, the first of its kind in the UK that opened earlier this year.

The partnership with ITN will make HRH King Charles III Coronation the first 5GSA coronation said Vodafone UK business director Nick Gliddon. “We are proud to be working with ITN to play our part in helping make this special event happen. Innovation is at the heart of Vodafone, from the first text message to the first mobile call, we have been central in the UK’s adoption of digital technology. Now we are continuing this tradition by being the first to switch on 5GSA for the public to trial and providing a slice of this network for the Coronation. The possibilities with 5GSA are very exciting."