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BBC Teams Up With LiveU And Neutral Wireless

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The Coronation of HM King Charles III saw the teaming up of the BBC with LiveU and Neutral Wireless to leverage the world's largest single-use private 5G standalone (SA) network for reliable, high-quality live broadcasts.

At IBC2023, LiveU and Neutral Wireless will demonstrate the groundbreaking private 5G collaboration (LiveU stand 7.B19), showing the benefits of the network's high-uplink capacity for live event coverage.

LiveU's advanced suite of live IP-video bonded connectivity solutions, including private 5G (P5G), are tried and tested for reliable performance in various use cases, such as large news and sports events where network conditions may be challenging, or in areas with no cellular reception.

At the Coronation, LiveU, in partnership with Neutral Wireless, provided a reliable and scalable solution for the BBC, FBS (Foreign Broadcast Services), and other world media outlets, overcoming many of the challenges normally associated with network congestion at large-scale live events. A Neutral Wireless private 5G network was deployed on a temporary basis to deliver extremely high reliability, availability, and utmost peace of mind to broadcasters – essential when the eyes of the world are watching! The private network enabled broadcasters to deliver live wireless contribution pieces from anywhere along The Mall, with coverage provided from Admiralty Arch to outside Buckingham Palace itself. The scalability of the network architecture also meant additional LiveU portable encoders could easily and swiftly be added in different locations. This was a great example of the broadcast use case for P5G networks, highlighting the benefits they can bring across large live events, such as concerts and sporting events, to name but two.

On Coronation Day, the spectrum used was made available from Ofcom using a Shared Access Licence and separate from the public networks.

Dr Cameron Speirs, CEO of Neutral Wireless, commented: "The Coronation deployment of Neutral Wireless’ pop-up 5G private network of seven connected cells combined with LiveU’s hugely reliable 5G bonded live streaming encoder provided broadcasters with uncontested connectivity that was dedicated exclusively for their workflows. Gone was the challenge of ‘will there be enough network coverage on the day’ and back to simply focusing on delivering standout broadcast coverage of this historic event. Testimony to the success of this deployment was that the complexity of the private 5G network was transparent to the broadcast users: they simply popped a Neutral Wireless 5G SIM card into their LiveU units and got on with business as usual – except without the usual bandwidth worries!"

Dan Pisarski, LiveU's CTO, said: "What stands out here is the reliability and scalability of the solution for high-quality live coverage at crowded events and other extreme situations. Unlike previous private wireless technologies, this set-up is plug-and-play and avoids all the complexities that organisations have previously experienced. Our portable encoders could be used everywhere on the Coronation route, giving viewers a front-row viewing experience. A big shout out to the Neutral Wireless team for their technical expertise, and to our own support team, who made sure everything worked smoothly on the day. We are delighted that IBC gives us the chance to offer a peek into our technical collaboration."

Additionally, 20 international news broadcast outlets utilised the private 5G service for their Coronation coverage. This is considered very efficient use of radio spectrum to support so many devices from so many broadcasters.

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