Private 5G workflow introduced by LiveU and Neutral Wireless at IBC2023

Utilized first time for coronation coverage, Private 5G workflow optimizes production efficiency and offers the scalability and reliability required for live events' management and delivery 

Utilized first time for coronation coverage, Private 5G workflow optimizes production efficiency and offers the scalability and reliability required for live events’ management and delivery 

BBC collaborated with Neutral Wireless and LiveU to cover the coronation of king Charles III putting to good use the world’s largest single-use private 5G standalone (SA) network for reliable, high-quality live broadcasts. This new benefit for the industry, private 5G collaboration, will be presented by LiveU and Neutral Wireless at IBC2023 (LiveU stand 7.B19) in order to show the advantages of the network’s high-uplink capacity for live event coverage

LiveU’s 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 that, “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 organizations 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 utilized 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.

LiveU’s IP-video connectivity suite incorporates other innovative third-party solutions, including network slicing and the use of Low Earth Orbit satellites such as Starlink. These advanced connectivity solutions are part of the LiveU EcoSystem that spans contribution, production and distribution.  

 * The BBC and partners, including LiveU and Neutral Wireless, are shortlisted for the IBC2023 Innovation Awards (Content Creation) for their project “Building a pop-up 5G network for the coronation of king Charles III”.


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