Potential for LTE
As smartphones and tablets reach saturation levels in many markets, mobile operators are challenged with meeting the increased demand for mobile data while minimizing capital and operating expenditures. iGR’s own forecasts show massive growth in the world’s mobile data traffic in the next five years from about 432,000 terabytes (TB) of mobile data per month in 2011, to approximately 6.6 million TB per month in 2016 – this represents an increase in monthly data consumption of more than 15 times. Not only is the amount of data being used increasing, but also the mix of types of users is shifting such that more data is being consumed by many more subscribers, not just a few business users.
LTE Broadcast or eMBMS (evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast
Service) provides an answer to part of the mobile operators’ challenges.
Simply put, LTE Broadcast (eMBMS) enables a Single Frequency
Network (SFN) broadcast capability within LTE, so that the same content can be sent to a large number of users at the same time, resulting in a more efficient use of network resources than each user requesting the same content and then having the content unicast to each user. eMBMS was originally defined in Release 8 and 9 of the 3GPP standards and has been enhanced in Releases 10 and 11.
LTE Broadcast can be used for distributing content such as live events and media to a wide audience, as well as for background file and software delivery and group information distribution.
Based on interviews conducted by iGR for this paper, there are several benefits of LTE Broadcast from the mobile network operator’s (MNO) perspective:
No changes required to consumer devices with compatible chipsets and middleware
No hardware changes required to the LTE RAN
Part of the standard LTE ecosystem
Simple business cases and applications