Ericsson and DT provide private 5G network for RTL Deutschland’s Euros coverage

  • Ahead of the 2024 European Football Championship, Ericsson and Deutsche Telekom have deployed a private 5G standalone (SA) network to support media company RTL Deutschland’s coverage of the event.
  • The private 5G SA network infrastructure has been installed locally at RTL Deutschland’s production studios for maximum performance and security.
  • 5G stands to revolutionise media production at major events and provide unforgettable moments for fans in 2024.

Ericsson and Deutsche Telekom have installed a private 5G standalone (SA) network for media company RTL Deutschland, which will be put into operation just in time for the 2024 European Football Championship and beyond. RTL Deutschland is the first media company in Germany to supply its production studios with 5G via its own Ericsson 5G SA network.

The 5G infrastructure is set to transform TV production for the European tournament by introducing wireless cameras that operate seamlessly in both indoor to outdoor environments. This shift from traditional wired equipment to wireless cameras will greatly enhance the flexibility versatility of TV production at the venue.

The in-house private network provides a tailored infrastructure for optimized performance and dynamic environments, supporting data-intensive applications with ultra-short response times in the millisecond range. In addition to wireless cameras, the network will also enable the operation of wireless microphones, a wireless intercom and dedicated access to the internet in the future. Other production-relevant systems are also to be tested via 5G.

Matthias Dang, Chief Commercial, Technology & Data Officer at RTL Deutschland, says: “RTL Deutschland produces its must-see content in outstanding quality. In partnership with Deutsche Telekom, we are now operating an independent 5G mobile network at our broadcasting center in Cologne to bring our high-reach content to our viewers and users even more conveniently and efficiently. This is a further step in our innovation partnership.”

Klaus Werner, Managing Director for Business Customers at Telekom Deutschland, adds: “With RTL, we have an innovative partner with whom we can jointly develop our products and solutions and bring them to market maturity. Thanks to its network architecture with 5G standalone technology, the 5G Campus network meets the particularly high requirements of live TV production and offers important features such as minimal response times and high bandwidths.”

Maximum 5G performance for the 2024 European Championship

The private 5G network will not only be installed in two RTL studios, but also in a surrounding area for public viewing covering more than 35,000 square meters, enabling RTL to provide uninterrupted coverage both indoors and outdoors. This will ensure a flawless live broadcast, even if the mobile cells of the public network are busy. Deutsche Telekom and RTL have already successfully tested live broadcast via the public Telekom 5G SA network with network slicing for reporting on the move.

Daniel Leimbach, Head of Customer Unit Western Europe, Ericsson, says: “5G is transforming media production for big events and promises unforgettable experiences for fans this year. This technology opens up new revenue opportunities for operators and revolutionizes the experience of broadcasters, enabling seamless, ultra-high quality media production that enhances sports entertainment experience for fans at venues and at home.”

The 5G SA network operates separately from the public mobile network. The entire infrastructure, from the antennas and active system technology to the core network, comes from Ericsson and is installed locally on the site in Cologne-Deutz, meaning that all data traffic remains on site. A total of six antennas were installed for the private network, two outdoors, one of which is used temporarily, and four more indoors.

The network facilitates high upload bandwidth of around 500 megabits per second (Mbit/s) for the live productions, as well as guaranteeing latency less than 25 milliseconds. The 5G SA network operates on frequencies reserved specifically for RTL Deutschland in the 3.7 to 3.8 gigahertz (GHz) range. Up to 100 megahertz (MHz) bandwidth is thus exclusively available to the broadcaster.

Full control and flexibility

RTL Deutschland can flexibly adapt the private network and manage various functions on-demand. For example, data traffic within the network is prioritized for specific applications as required. The closed system is characterized by its high level of data security and reliability: Thanks to a redundant architecture of the local core network, the network continues to function reliably even in the event of an interruption to the cloud-based management portal. In addition, the TV broadcaster benefits from guaranteed and continuous availability.


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