LTE Multicast: The Future of Mobile Content Delivery

Technology demonstration taking place at Verizon Power House in New York during Super Bowl week.

By Debi Lewis on January 29, 2014

For years, video has been touted as a premier capability of 4G LTE. And with the speed, capacity and coverage of Verizon’s 4G LTE network, innovative technologies like LTE Multicast mean content owners will be able to deliver video and more in whole new ways.    

Verizon Wireless is showcasing LTE Multicast technology during Super Bowl week as part of Verizon’s Power House in New York City’s Bryant Park. Visitors to the Power House can experience what the technology offers, including multiple video feeds, data and other information, all in a seamless experience over the 4G LTE network. Verizon also plans to show the Feb. 2 game between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks to an invited audience live in the Power House over LTE Multicast.  

LTE Multicast is a new opportunity for content owners to develop a customized viewing experience for a mass audience. The technology allows for content to be delivered to multiple devices through a select cell site or a cluster of cell sites. For example, sports leagues could provide additional or exclusive content to their fans who attend live events, enriching their experience at a venue. The service could allow students on satellite campuses to see a lecture from a star professor, transforming higher education and making it available to more people. It could also allow municipal governments to reach its citizens in a specific geographic area with messages and information that’s important to them. LTE Multicast can also be used for digital signage, software and file downloads or telematics. 

Based on evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (eMBMS) standards, LTE Multicast efficiently uses spectrum resources as its design allows the same copy of content to be sent to multiple users instead of sending multiple copies of the same content to multiple users. As a result, capacity constraints are eliminated, and customers will see high-quality, always-on video without lag time or delay, changing the way consumers think about video on mobile. 

Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network is the foundation for LTE Multicast. It includes solutions from a partner ecosystem. Verizon Wireless is working with a number of companies to deliver the full experience at the Power House. One of Verizon Wireless key network partners, Alcatel-Lucent, has supplied the underlying 4G LTE network equipment for the demonstration, which is being shown on specially eMBMS-enabled Galaxy Note 3 devices from Samsung, one of Verizon Wireless’ key device partners.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 is supported by Qualcomm Technologies Inc., which has provided both the Snapdragon 800 processor as well as the middleware that enables the multicast content to be received by these devices. Sequans has also provided silicon (or chipsets) combined with Expway middleware that enables the Multicast content to play on the devices. Encoders from Media Excel and Thomson round out the partner set, and MobiTV has provided an application and the platform to demonstrate benefits of real-time data feeds for a compelling user experience. All of the content for the demonstration is from the NFL.