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Telstra kicks off LTE-B deployment with AFL app and Samsung devices


(Picture: Chris Duckett/ZDNet)

Telstra has switched on LTE-Broadcast (LTE-B) throughout its community in an effort to forestall congestion by having customers share the identical information stream.

Initially, LTE-B is just accessible on Samsung S9 and S8 handsets when utilizing the AFL Reside app. The telco informed media on Thursday that extra purposes and firmware updates for handsets to permit for LTE-B use are within the pipeline.

Mike Wright, Telstra group managing director of Networks, informed ZDNet that the edge for towers to modify from unicast to utilizing LTE-B is just a handful of customers.

“The enterprise case principally says after one or two customers, it is cheaper to make use of broadcast. In reality, we did a enterprise case just a few years in the past that mentioned if 1 p.c of site visitors might be launched by 2020, it will pay [for itself],” he informed ZDNet.

Wright mentioned the telco will progressively deploy the know-how in its community, and is first concentrating on high-traffic areas. Presently, it’s utilizing LTE-B solely on weekends, and switching again to unicast through the week.

Should learn: Key takeaways from Telstra’s new strategy

Though LTE-B is presently restricted to time, gadgets, and apps, Telstra mentioned that any gadgets it will possibly transfer to broadcast will unencumber bandwidth for gadgets locked to unicast.

“We at the moment are streaming dwell sports activities content material to an enormous base of round 1.2 million gadgets, and sports activities followers eat 37 million minutes of dwell content material over our apps on any given weekend,” Wright mentioned. “This season, we have seen an general 58 p.c improve in prospects streaming video games. In some situations, greater than twice the variety of prospects have streamed, in comparison with the identical conflict final 12 months.

“As latest main sporting occasions all over the world have proven, assembly the large peaks in demand for dwell sporting content material takes intensive end-to-end community design mixed with cautious community administration and strategic investments.”

Going past dwell broadcasting, Telstra mentioned the know-how may doubtlessly prolong to information streams similar to updates, however would should be baked into gadget working methods.

The telco mentioned the streaming by means of its AFL app has grown threefold since 2016 and hit 143Gbps this 12 months.

“One of many greatest challenges for cellular community operators all over the world is find out how to handle the ever-growing demand for information and video. LTE-B is essential a part of the answer — not solely does it enhance community effectivity, however extra importantly improves the shopper expertise by delivering an enhanced streaming expertise,” Wright added.

In keeping with community loadings proven by Telstra, peak site visitors for AFL streaming doesn’t happen on grand ultimate day or within the post-season, with customers presumably switching again to TV and greater screens.

Earlier this week, Wright introduced that he could be leaving Telstra on the finish of September after almost 40 years of service.

“Beneath Mike’s steering, Telstra has been a frontrunner in deploying new community applied sciences. By the top of September when Mike will likely be stepping down for a well-earned break, we will likely be nearing completion of the important thing components of our Networks for the Future program, and Telstra will likely be nicely on the best way to deploying 5G,” Telstra COO Robyn Denholm mentioned on Tuesday.

Telstra final month revealed that it will be axing 8,000 jobs amid a restructure program labelled Telstra2022, together with a discount of “2-Four layers of administration”, with 25 p.c of govt and center administration roles being eliminated.

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