Huawei's New Year's Eve: Supporting 5G-enabled UHD Live Broadcast of the Spring Festival Gala

Huawei's New Year's Eve: Supporting 5G-enabled UHD Live Broadcast of the Spring Festival Gala

"Bidding farewell to the year of the dog, and welcoming the year of the pig". As the 2019 CCTV Spring Festival Gala came to a close, 5G networks were used for the first time to broadcast the event live in Beijing, Shenzhen, and Changchun. China's three major carriers partnered with Huawei to provide end-to-end solutions, including 5G networks and devices. The 5G-enabled UHD live broadcast of the Spring Festival Gala allowed the audience to watch uninterrupted, live performances. The application of 5G during the live broadcast of the Spring Festival Gala also indicated that China is entering a new era of 5G, and that Huawei is capable of providing end-to-end 5G solutions for commercial use.

The first 5G-enabled live broadcast of the Spring Festival Gala

This was the first ever 5G-enabled live broadcast of the Spring Festival Gala. The Spring Festival Gala allowed 5G to be presented to an audience of hundreds of millions. Huawei's end-to-end 5G solutions provided stable, high-speed networks for the CCTV tower in Beijing, and the sub-venues in Shenzhen and Changchun. This showed that Huawei was capable of providing 5G-enabled UHD transmissions from an ultra-densely populated and cold environment (–20℃) to ensure the smooth live broadcast of the Spring Festival Gala. A 5G-enabled UHD live broadcast is a typical eMBB service. To support the 5G networks used for this Spring Festival Gala, Huawei deployed a 64T64R outdoor macro station and 5G LampSite indoor devices to provide digital coverage. This provided uplink bandwidth of over 100 Mbps, fully satisfying CCTV's need for UHD live broadcast at 40/60 Mbps and ensuring there was no lag or buffering during the broadcast. 5G base stations boast typical 5G technologies such as multi-antenna and stereo beamforming, as well as the 100 MHz bandwidth wireless spectrum of Chinese carriers. Therefore, 5G base stations can flexibly and accurately control signal coverage according to the onsite environment. This maximizes connection capacity and optimizes user experience.

5G LampSite indoor device and 5G 64T64R wireless base station at the Spring Festival Gala

Huawei's 5G commercial devices support the Spring Festival Gala

At the Spring Festival Gala, Huawei's 5G CPEs were connected to cameras to enable the live transmission of UHD video. The CPE is the world's first commercial 5G device, with a maximum download speed of 1 Gbps. Field tests have shown that these CPEs can provide a stable, high-speed uplink transmissions for live cameras, meeting the full needs of live, UHD video broadcasts.

Huawei 5G device CPE

5G-enabled live broadcasting is not simply an innovation that was used at the Spring Festival Gala, but a major advancement in the application of 5G services. Ensuring the 5G-enabled live broadcasting of the Spring Festival Gala went smoothly at each venue was essential. Therefore, Huawei and its partners extensively tested all of the networks and obtained rich testing results during different phases. On January 10, the 5G indoor digital system was installed in the CCTV tower; on January 13, the 5G-enabled 4K UHD TV signal transmission tests were completed in Shenzhen; on January 27, 5G network coverage was realized in CCTV's No. 1 Studio; on January 28, 5G-enabled VR real-time transmission tests were completed in the incredibly cold environment of Changchun.

Huawei engineers providing onsite support

2019 is a crucial year for the 5G industry, during which the full commercial use and deployment of 5G networks is starting to be realized worldwide. With the release of the spectrum for 5G trials, China has become one of the first markets for the large-scale commercial use of 5G. 5G will bring consumers an unparalleled experience and generate ever-increasing social and economic value.