A truly disruptive technology not only changes the way that people think but also the way they operate. It changes an established way of working and creates new market opportunities. This is what “cellular bonding” technology is doing to broadcast video by making it possible to use mobile phone networks instead of satellite feeds to transmit footage.
For decades, big expensive satellite trucks transmitted most live video seen on TV and, more recently, online. Now, cellular bonding is providing an alternative means of transmission; it has enabled live footage from events such as the US presidential election and the London 2012 Olympics with greater versatility and at lower cost than traditional broadcasting.
As many of us know from using our mobile phones, links to the cellular network can be unstable, especially with an increasing number of users and devices competing for a finite amount of bandwidth. LiveU’s cellular-bonding technology solves that problem by combining bandwidth from multiple mobile networks to create a big enough “data pipe” to handle even professional quality HD video, with a delay of as little as one second.
Since cellular connectivity is free of the line-of-sight restrictions of traditional uplink technologies, these live video feeds can come from helicopters, moving cars, and even boats. They can be shot in crowded streets, in severe storms, from the top of tall buildings and bridges, and countless other places that were previously unimaginable for live video.
Instead of a satellite truck, camera operators and reporters can simply put on a backpack or clip on a small belt pack containing the bonded uplink technology, attach a camera, and start filming live, instantly. For example, broadcasters used LiveU backpacks to broadcast during and immediately after the Japanese tsunami, as well as covering Hurricane Sandy and the Oklahoma tornadoes.
This means broadcasters can create more compelling content, with greater flexibility and simplicity, and at a fraction of the cost of older technologies. Live video is now realistic for organizations that could not have contemplated it before, such as educational institutions, sports teams, consumer brands, and non-profits.
Smartphone and tablet apps can also make use of cellular bonding, potentially making any viewer a live contributor. The bottom line is that cellular bonding facilitates the creation of much more content, from more places and perspectives, with less hassle, and for a lot less money.
The applications of cellular bonding don’t stop with the media industry. The technology allows medics in ambulances to transmit high-quality live video to specialists who can assist with diagnosis and treatment even before the patient arrives at the hospital. Cellular bonding is also a powerful tool for public safety organizations, giving them remote eyes and ears to monitor emerging threats.
Cellular bonding is a truly disruptive technology, democratizing the capture and use of professional quality live video across multiple industries as well as for individuals.
Image: A journalist stands in front of media vans with satellite dishes. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings