Teradek’s Bond Backpack Powers First 5G Live Sports Broadcast

5G is the next generation that follows after current 4G LTE networks, and U.S. country-wide integration should be fully complete by 2021. In fact, in some metropolitan areas of the U.S., the first versions of 5G are already being tested, and it’s already seen widespread deployment in South Korea. Needless to say, everyone’s overly excited about it.

No one is as excited about the 5G rollout than professionals in the broadcast industry. The new cellular network is expected to deliver an astronomical 1.4Gbps, a substantial upgrade to the 100Mbps that comes with 4G LTE. Websites will reportedly load faster than your eyes can blink. What that means for us is: super low latency allows live video to be higher quality and streams more reliable than ever before.

SKT’s KPGA Open 2019
SKT (SK Telecom) is the largest wireless carrier in South Korea and part of the world’s first 5G network service launched by three telcos in Korea on April 3. Interestingly, SKT is also involved in several other avenues such as sports and esports, one of them being the SK Telecom Open – part of the official Korean Tour.

As part of its 5G launch, SKT’s goal was to broadcast segments of the SK Telecom Open using their deployed 5G networks. In the golf course of SKY 72 Golf and Resorts in Incheon, SKT secured permission to broadcast from 4 signature holes: 1, 3, 4 and, 9.

The Setup
To ensure proper delivery, SKT incorporated 7 Bond Backpacks into their 7-camera setup. The Bond is a 4G/5G network bonding device that combines up to seven internet sources (5x USB, Ethernet, WiFi) into a single, robust pipeline for low latency, point-to-point IP video distribution.

Each Bond was loaded with SKT’s 5GX modems (X is part of SKT’s marketing, standing for eXperience, eXpand, and eXtraordinary etc) and streamed live coverage of the event 5 hours a day for the 4-day event. Video was delivered over the 5G network to Core, where the video feeds were redistributed to T-Rax decoders in an off-site broadcasting studio. From there, the live video was edited and published to Korea’s #1 OTT platform Oksusu, as well as some video sources to the OB Van.

The Perfect Pair
Teradek is the first to broadcast bonded 5G in Korea. With the era of 5G fast approaching, broadcasters will be turning to the new cellular network to deliver higher-quality videos with even more reliability. Inevitably, professionals will start seeing less reliance on traditional transmission systems and more implementation of 4G/5G into the multimedia world.

Just like SKT, broadcast professionals will want a way to guarantee video delivery for their clients. With the Bond, 5G and 4G connections can all be combined to provide maximum redundancy and network failover, ensuring that every viewer receives HD and UHD content with rock-solid reliability

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