Telstra tests LTE-Broadcast to reduce 4G congestion

TV-like broadcasting for mobile data

First it was LTE-A, and now Telstra is looking into LTE-B (or LTE-Broadcast) as a possible solution to keep its 4G network from congesting and slowing down.

Calling it a "world first" and working with Ericsson, the telco announced that it was testing the new LTE technology to help its current 4G network.

"One of the biggest challenges to mobile network operators across the world is how to manage the ever-growing demand for data," said Channa Seneviratne, Telstra's acting Director of Wireless Network Engineering.

With 3.2 million devices connected to its 4G network, Telstra says it is seeing an uptake of up to 23% each month.

The B in LTE

Currently, when we download a video, OS upgrade or newspaper, it gets downloaded by each user as a different data stream.

The new technology would allow Telstra to stream the same data content to multiple devices at the same or differing times, similar to a TV broadcast.

"Traditionally, if 100 people in a mobile network cell area wanted this content, we would send out 100 different streams of data – which uses a lot of network capacity," Seneviratne said.

"Through our LTE-Broadcast trial, we have today demonstrated that it's possible to use one stream of data, to deliver the same content to multiple users."

While the technology is still in trialling phase, Telstra has said that it will be looking specifically on how to integrate LTE-B into its current network and what services would best suit this type of tech.

  • Telstra's got it's eye on all types of LTE, including testing out LTE-Advanced.