Telstra has turned on its LTE-Broadcast (LTE-B) technology across Australia giving its customers HD streaming when watching sport of the telco’s dedicated sport apps.
At the moment it is only for Telstra customers with Samsung S8 and S9 devices.
According to Mike Wright, group managing director at Telstra the company is the first in Australia and one of the first globally to deploy LTE-B into its mobile network.
LTE-B sends content through a single stream of data to a big number of mobile users in the one area at once instead of individual content streams of data.
This technology will be especially helpful when a large number of users want to watch a sporting event like a Grand Final. Commentators suggest rival telco Optus would have benefited from this technology after having streaming issues during the first week of the World Cup.
Wright says, “As recent major sporting events around the world have shown, meeting the massive peaks in demand for live sporting content takes extensive end-to-end network design combined with careful network management and strategic investments.
“We have invested in network capacity and continue to optimise our network to meet the demand for video sporting content for subscribers of the AFL, NRL and Netball Live Passes. Last year we announced 1.5 million subscribers and this year we are on track to see a significant increase. Most recently, we have integrated LTE-B technology into the AFL Live Official app, which is delivering better quality video and audio experience for broadcast content, even in high traffic areas.”
Telstra says its weekend traffic from the AFL Live Official app on its network has grown three fold since 2016 and has peaked this year at 143 gigabits per second – this would represent the entire network capacity of some wireless networks in the world.
Wright adds, “One of the biggest challenges for mobile network operators around the world is how to manage the ever growing demand for data and video. LTE-B is key part of the solution – not only does it improve network efficiency, but more importantly improves the customer experience by delivering an enhanced streaming experience.”
Telstra has dedicated AFL, NRL and netball apps.