LIVE FROM MWL UNWRAPPED: Marc Overton, MD of BT Group’s Division X,claimed implementing a private 5G network for media and broadcast is the most demanding use case for the technology, but one which paves the way for deployment across numerous other sectors if handled correctly.

Speaking alongside BBC R&D technology transfer manager Ian Wagdin on day three of the event, Overton noted the companies’ work employing private 5G during the Commonwealth Games held earlier this year.

Overton said he saw media and broadcast as the “tip of the spear”, when it came to private 5G, and BT was leading its push around the technology “with probably the most demanding use case at pace and scale”.

“If we can get it right in media and broadcast, we can deploy into manufacturing, health, ports, logistics and transports.”

“These areas are in many ways less demanding for the sort of network typography we’re having to contend with, with media and broadcast.”

Highlighting the speed, flexibility and access of private 5G, Overton described its deployment for BBC at the Commonwealth Games as a “pop-up” and a type of network-as-a-service.

He added BT’s Division X had been set up as a “Marvel comic-esque” unit, allowing the company to think and operate differently.

It’s about really deploying these networks in order to enable digital and business transformation.”

Easing network pressure
Wagdin said the main use case for the broadcaster is to ensure availability of high-quality cameras during event, and while he noted this is possible using existing networks, “we’re always fighting against the public use of those networks as well”.

He said often when large crowds turn up and want to use the same public networks to upload social media, for example, it leads to congestion and increases the risk of losing picture and reducing quality.

“By deploying a private network, we’re able to maintain the quality of our broadcast technology without impacting on the main sort of carrier networks that are there.”

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