Mobile and Broadcast Convergence

TV delivery has traditionally been dependent on one-way, one-to-many delivery networks to fixed TV sets (i.e. broadcasting).

Nowadays, an increasing number of consumers watch linear or non-linear content on their traditional home screens, as well as on their smart-phones and tablets. Although much of this content is currently delivered via Wi-Fi networks, these new forms of media consumption dramatically increase the load on mobile networks. This situation may require new solutions, such as the leveraging of a one-to-many broadcasting approach.

In the future, mobile devices will probably rely on a combination of mobile broadband, fixed broadband, Wi-Fi, broadcast network infrastructure and local storage. Existing 3G and 4G mobile networks can deliver video services but were primarily designed for two-way and one-to-one services. While they have been extended by a broadcast service (MBMS) that may deliver content to an arbitrary number of mobile viewers in a typical cell, there are opportunities for further work on delivering linear video content to large numbers of simultaneous viewers (in the same cell or across many cells).

Future standards (such as 5G) could enable a highly efficient delivery of mass video traffic through a one-to-many “broadcast” delivery scheme, built upon co-operation between and/or convergence of broadcast and mobile networks. 

ETSI has established an Industry Specification Group (ISG) on Mobile and Broadcast Convergence (MBC). The ISG MBC will produce a comprehensive report exploring the deployment and business models of converged networks from the perspectives of all interested parties, especially including:

  • broadcasters
  • terrestrial broadcast network operators
  • mobile network operators
  • satellite broadcast network operators
  • content owners/providers
  • network infrastructure vendors
  • manufacturers of consumer equipment
  • consumers

The potential benefits and challenges from commercial and technical perspectives will be taken into account.

The requirements supporting delivery of media including linear and non-linear elements over converged networks will be specified.

The role of the Industry Specification Group will exclude development of technical standards and it will not make recommendations about spectrum allocations. However, spectrum authorization models which impact the regulatory framework and/or business model may need to be considered in the work. As a starting point, the ISG reviews existing, related work in this area and consider the viewpoints of consumers.

The MBC ISG is open to all ETSI members and non-members. For more information please contact [email protected]

The following is a list of the latest published ETSI group reports on mobile & broadcast convergence.

A full list of related standards in the public domain is accessible via the ETSI standards search. Via this interface you can also subscribe for alerts on updates of ETSI standards.

For work in progress see the ETSI Work Programme on the Portal.

Standard No. Standard title.
GR MBC 001 Mobile Broadcast Convergence Group Report