Verizon Wireless has set up shop in New York City this week to demonstrate LTE Multicast, a technique that’s designed to beam live TV feeds wirelessly to smartphones and tablets without gobbling up all of the wireless network’s bandwidth. Instead of delivering a bunch of bandwidth-eating unicast video streams, the multicast approach carves out a dedicated slice of the LTE spectrum to fit in a nailed-up stream of the live event that, in turn, can be captured by multiple devices that are connected to the cell site.
As promised, Verizon Wireless is using the country’s marquee sports event, the Super Bowl, to show off its new LTE-broadcast technology. Verizon’s eventual plan is to turn its two-way LTE data networks into broadcast towers that can multicast simulcast video and other content to millions of phones and tablets. But before you get your hopes up too high, Verizon’s Super Bowl broadcast this year is going to be fairly limited. In fact, it’s limited to a single room: its remote “skybox” Bryant Park, NYC, on the other side of the Hudson River. Verizon isn’t broadcasting the Super Bowl in and around the environs of MetLife stadium. In fact, the NFL is blocking all live video streams of the game within the stadium itself due to the immense load video traffic would place on 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi networks in the arena.