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Vodafone performs Hungaryʼs first 5G live video broadcast

Vodafone performed an online live video broadcast via a 5G trial network for the first time in Hungary at the Internet Hungary conference on Tuesday, according to a press release sent by the telco to the Budapest Business Journal.

The connection was established on the 3.5 GHz frequency band, with Vodafone the only mobile operator in the country owning a frequency spectrum suitable for the provision of commercial 5G services, according to the press release.

"Today we brought the future closer. The future we call Gigabit Hungary," said Amanda Nelson, CEO of Vodafone Hungary, at the live 5G network demo. "Vodafone will continue to take an ever-larger share in turning the country into one of the top five most competitive economies within the European Union, and to this end dynamically continues with its Hungarian network developments."

The Vodafone Group has been experimenting with 5G-related developments and tests, with Vodafone Spain becoming the first operator succeeding in the establishment of a 5G call in February. Since the call, Vodafone has been involved in several trials in markets including Italy, the U.K. and Germany.

On Tuesday, September 25, a test was conducted in Hungary. The content of the HearthStone Hungary Cup, held in the Budapest Head Office building of Vodafone and organized by Esport Universum, was edited and commented on in real time in an on-site studio in Siófok (around 100 km southwest of Budapest). Afterwards, the broadcast was uploaded to the World Wide Web using a trial 5G connection, where audiences could follow the live, HD-quality video stream via the Twitch platform, on the Fusion TV channel.

Also present at the event, besides the Vodafone CEO, were Monika Karas, president of Hungaryʼs National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH), Károly Balázs Solymár, deputy state secretary responsible for infocommunications at the Ministry for Innovation and Technology, and Gergő J. Budai, director of external affairs at Vodafone Hungary.

Massive MIMO

At the 5G demo, Vodafone used a standalone test core network, independent of the existing 4G network, as well as a 5G modem and base station fitted with an active antenna. The active antenna (a.k.a. "massive MIMO") is able to focus the signal into a more precise set of layers, resulting in a more efficient transmission, the press release explained, adding that these layers have the ability to bring more capacity than the existing 4G systems with the same bandwidth.

The radio device, fitted with the active antenna, secured the 5G connection using the the 3.5 GHz frequency range for the network modem, to which the video server was connected.

According to the press release, 5G will allow live broadcasting of HD-quality videos not only at sporting events, but also for ambulances, allowing hospital diagnostics to take place during the patientʼs transportation to the hospital.

Beneficial characteristics of a 5G network include super-low latency, very high reliability, and much higher capacity and transmission speed, the press release noted.