RTL Deutschland launches private 5G campus network by Telekom for live broadcasting

Telekom has installed a private 5G campus network for RTL Deutschland, which will be operational just in time for the 2024 UEFA European Football Championship. With the business solution “Campus-Netz Private,” the media company becomes the first in Germany to equip its production studios with its own 5G standalone (5G SA) network. This enhances TV production flexibility significantly: the solution enables the use of wireless cameras both inside and outside the studios. Previously, live productions mainly relied on wired cameras maneuvered for dynamic studio shots. Wireless cameras will provide even greater flexibility for TV broadcasting operations in the future.

The in-house campus network provides tailored infrastructure for optimized performance and dynamic environments. The short distances of the standalone 5G architecture support data-intensive applications with ultra-short response times in the millisecond range, enabling really fast data processing. In addition to wireless cameras, the network will also facilitate the operation of wireless microphones, a wireless intercom, and dedicated internet access in the future. Further production-relevant systems will also be tested via 5G.

“RTL Deutschland produces its must-see content in outstanding quality. In partnership with Telekom, we are now operating an independent 5G mobile network at our broadcast center in Cologne to deliver our high-reach content even more comfortably and efficiently to our viewers and users. This marks another step in our innovation partnership,” says Matthias Dang, Chief Commercial, Technology & Data Officer of RTL Deutschland.

Klaus Werner, Managing Director for Business Customers at Telekom Deutschland, adds: “With RTL, we have an innovative partner with whom we jointly develop and bring our products and solutions to market readiness. The 5G Campus-Netz Private meets the particularly high requirements of live TV production with its network architecture featuring 5G standalone technology, providing essential functions such as minimal response times and high bandwidths.”

Maximum 5G performance also at Euro 2024

The broadcasts surrounding this year’s UEFA European Football Championship are set to benefit from the advantages of the campus network on the production site. The innovation network will be expanded to an adjacent event venue during the tournament. Here, coverage of public viewing events will be delivered live over 5G. This time, however, not through the previously successfully tested public Telekom 5G SA network with network slicing, but via RTL’s private 5G campus network. This ensures flawless live transmission even when the mobile network cells of the public network are congested. For on-the-go coverage, Telekom, together with RTL, has already successfully tested live transmission via the public Telekom 5G SA network with network slicing.

Campus-Netz private for customized requirements

The 5G campus network will be installed not only in two RTL studios but also in the so-called mall. Additionally, the visitor parking lot of RTL in Cologne-Deutz will be covered by 5G. Together with the area for public viewing during the UEFA Euro, the campus network covers an area of ​​more than 35,000 square meters, enabling uninterrupted coverage for RTL both indoors and outdoors.

The 5G SA network operates separately from the public mobile network. The entire infrastructure, from antennas to active system technology to the core network, is provided by Ericsson and installed locally at the Cologne-Deutz site. This keeps all data traffic within the local campus network. For the campus network at RTL Deutschland, a total of six antennas have been installed: two outdoors, one of which is temporary, and four indoors.

High upload bandwidths of around 500 megabits per second (Mbps) are achieved for live productions. The latency rate must not exceed 25 milliseconds. The 5G SA network operates on frequencies reserved exclusively for RTL Deutschland in the range of 3.7 to 3.8 gigahertz. Up to 100 megahertz of bandwidth are available exclusively for the broadcaster.

Control & flexibility

RTL Deutschland can flexibly adjust the private network and manage various functions on-demand. For example, traffic within the campus network can be prioritized as needed for specific applications. The closed system is characterized by its high data and fault tolerance: a redundant architecture of the local core network ensures reliable operation even in the event of an interruption to the cloud-based management portal,

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