France Television uses private 5G network for Olympic torch relay

  • France Television is using a startup's private 5G networking video streaming for the Paris 2024 torch relay
  • The startup offers an easy-to-use compact mobile private 5G streaming platform
  • Obvios has said it will use the system for festivals after the summer Olympics

The relaying of the Olympic torch from Athens, Greece, across the country that is holding the summer games is a tradition of the modern Olympics that lasts two months and marks the start of the event in late July. This year the quadrennial games happen in Paris and the relay coverage is being made possible in-depth by a mobile 5G private network.

 A French startup called Obvios is supporting national channel France Television’s daily coverage of the relay with its Dome 5G private networking software system. France Television has an internet channel dedicated to Olympic games and the torch relay that will run through May till July 24, Valérie Le Ny, marketing and sales manager at Obvios, told Fierce Network. She said that the TV channel will cover the torch relay for 10 hours a day.

The system utilizes a 5G radio on top of the coverage car. “Everything is in the boot of the car, the core network" - meaning the brain of the private network - and the power supply, Le Ny said. The roof of the vehicle also has a satellite antenna to backhaul data to the production platform.

“When you are under the 5G bubble you can collect the live streaming from the cameras and smartphones,” Le Ny said. “The video flows are collected by the 5G network then backhauled by the satellite” - to France Television’s partner in this venture TU Networks - “production media hub.”

The mid-band system uses 100 MHz of bandwidth in band n77 (3300 - 4200 MHz) for the private network. This enables France Television to create a high-bandwidth 5G dome (geddit?) wherever the vehicle is traveling. Le Ny noted that there are some areas in France - woods and villages, etc. - where the broadcaster cannot be guaranteed a good public 4G connection. Even in cities where spectators have crowded to watch the torch, you may not get a steady connection on a busy public network, which the private 5G network can ensure.

Also the system doesn’t require an expert to get it up and running, Le Ny noted. “The driver switches it on every morning,” she stated.

Obvios’ compact and cost-effective highly mobile private 5G software is why France Telecom picked them over more established players like Nokia or Siemens. Obvios intends to use the system to cover festivals after the games are done.

The firm is a spin-off of b<>com. Other 5G broadcast specialists include firms such as Neutral Wireless and Sony.