German broadcasters are testing 5G Broadcast services during the Euro 2024 football championship in Germany and the Olympic Games in Paris. Although the signals will be available across a wide area, it will only be possible to receive the live streams on special smartphones. The test will be used to inform possible broader introduction of the mobile broadcast technology.

Four members of ARD, the joint organisation of regional public-service broadcasters in Germany, will participate in the tests. They are BR or Bayerischer Rundfunk in Bavaria, NDR or Norddeutscher Rundfunk in North Germany, RBB or Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg, and SWR or S├╝dwestrundfunk in the South West.

The test broadcasts will take place in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and Halle. In theory the signals will reach around 8 million people, but they can only be received on special smart phones.

Although there have been previous tests of 5B Broadcast, this is the first joint test in a larger broadcaster network in Germany. They are being delivered in cooperation with Media Broadcast, one of the largest service providers in the broadcasting and media industry in Germany.

5G Broadcast is a global standard that can be used to receive live streams directly on future smartphones or tablets. Unlike unicast streams, the same downlink signal can be delivered simultaneously to any number of receivers, just like traditional broadcast television, and can be transmitted on similar UHF frequencies.

5G Broadcast is specifically intended to address the requirements traditional broadcasters with a broadcast network infrastructure and UHF broadcast spectrum assets.

Insights gained from the test will inform any decision on a possible introduction of 5G Broadcast across ARD.

Founded in 1950, ARD is the largest public broadcaster network in the world. It provides a national network, Das Erste, or the First. Programming is provided by its regional members, which operate seven regional networks, collectively known as die Dritten or Third programmes.