Research commissioned by German broadcasters involved in testing 5G Broadcast services suggests there is consumer interest in using it to watch television outside the home. Two-thirds of those responding to the survey were interested in the idea of 5G Broadcast as an alternative to streaming television over the internet to their mobile screen.

The question posed was “How interesting do you find ‘TV To-Go’ as an offer for live television reception on your smartphone or tablet in general?” Respondents were then asked how relevant to them personally were certain features presented to them.

The most relevant feature was being able to watch without billing for data on a mobile network or requiring a Wi-Fi connection. This was considered very relevant by over half of respondents and somewhat relevant by a further quarter. Similar numbers were attracted to the idea of stable transmission without overloading the network in crowded places or in the event of a disaster. They were also interested in the potential for transmission of live channels without long delays and the ability to access live television anywhere through a smartphone or tablet.

84% said that they perceived ‘TV To-Go’ as “new and different” and 62% said they would probably use it.

Given that 5G Broadcast would not contribute to their data usage, 68% said that they thought that they would make more use of watching live television on their smartphone or tablet.

When prompted, 61% said that they would watch traditional television channels like ARD and ZDF. 47% said they would use it to watch sport events like football or the Olympic Games. 45% said they would use it to watch social media live streams.

When asked where they would like to be able to watch live television out of the home, given a list of alternatives, 58% said while they had to wait for something, for instance at train stations, airports, or waiting for appointments. 52% said on the bus or train, 37% said in parks or other public places, and 31% said in the car. In most cases they envisaged this more than their previous usage in such situations.

“The study confirms that we are on the right track with 5G Broadcast as a new distribution channel for broadcasting,” said Francie Petrick, the managing director of transmission services provider Media Broadcast. “With our 5G Broadcast Pilot in Halle, we are now offering all interested parties the opportunity to test the future technology for their individual needs.”

Media Broadcast has been dealing with 5G broadcast technology for some time. The Cologne company was involved together with SWR in the 5G broadcast pilot project “5G Media2Go” in Stuttgart and is currently operating a 5G broadcast pilot together with the NDR in Hamburg. It has started test broadcasts for a pilot in Halle (Saale), scheduled to begin transmissions in August.

5G Broadcast is based on the 5G mobile standard, but is a broadcast mode that enables point-to-multipoint distribution, so the reception quality is consistently high, even with very numbers of viewers watching the same programme simultaneously.

The survey was conducted by market research firm Kantar on behalf of Media Broadcast and with the support of the ARD broadcasters BR, NDR, rbb and SWR. It was aimed at people aged 16 and over. Fieldwork took place at the end of April and the beginning of May 2024. Over 2,000 respondents took part in the representative online survey.