5G RuralFirst aims to demonstrate the use of a general purpose 5G network to deliver radio and TV broadcasting to rural areas.

The BBC believes that all broadcast delivery will be IP based in the long term and 4G doesn’t fully deliver on the needs of the TV and radio industries. 5G could play an important role in ensuring connectivity is as close to universal as possible, especially in areas where wired connections will not deliver the requisite bandwidth or coverage. 5G RuralFirst is providing a testbed to ensure that the technologies being developed are fit for that purpose.

We are testing whether 5G, as currently specified, can deliver radio and TV in a variety of environments. An important part of this is exploring business model viability; for example, could the hosting of radio (and maybe TV) broadcasting on a 5G network improve the economics of rolling out 5G to traditionally underserved areas?

  • 5G Radio Broadcast
    • Testing an innovative method of delivering broadcast content to rural areas by providing 5G handsets to a select number of families on Stronsay Island. The trial aims to validate the delivery of broadcast radio over 5G, with the ability of an IP-based network.  With this, comes the opportunity to personalise content delivery. This is the first step in what will be a long journey to enable the delivery of all radio and TV over IP (including 5G) – across the whole of the UK.
  • Edge Content Upload
    • Demonstrating the ability to carry out live programme contributions over 5G from remote locations – potentially reducing the need for dedicated satellite links, trucks, and other traditional broadcast infrastructure.