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. 

The group has been closed in July 2018 after termination of the work.

ETSI had established the Industry Specification Group (ISG) on Mobile and Broadcast Convergence (MBC) to 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 were taken into account.

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

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

The MBC ISG was open to all ETSI members and non-members.

The related standard in the public domain is accessible via the ETSI standards search.