5G will deliver record viewership at Pitlochry Highland Games

This year’s Highland Games in Perthshire begin this weekend (September 10) with an expected in-person audience of 6,000 which will be augmented by live action using a split-spectrum 5G network private at the International Broadcasting Conference (IBC) in Amsterdam where an estimated 40,000 dedicated technologists and engineers from the global media community will also be able to watch.

The first Pitlochry Highland Games since 2018 also marks the 170th anniversary of the Games, which features competitions such as Highland dancing, solo piping, caber throwing, athletics, cycling and tug of war.

Games chief Charles Butter said the 5G trial shows “the high regard in which the Pitlochry Highland Games are held, not only from the point of view of sporting excellence, but also of our wonderful location”.

The 5G autonomous private network was designed by spin-off technology company Neutral Wireless, in collaboration with the University of Strathclyde’s Software Defined Radio (StrathSDR) engineering team and the Scotland Rural Testbed Project. 5G Center. The project is testing production on 5G for broadcasters including BBC Research & Development, BTSport, BT Media & Broadcast, TV2, Paramount, Olympic Broadcasting Services and RTÉ.

Paul Coffey, CEO of S5GC, said: “It’s great to see that 5G capability can communicate the celebration of Scottish identity at the Pitlochry Highland Games to our fellow broadcasters in Amsterdam.

“This is an important use case from our partners at the University of Strathclyde, as it demonstrates the portability of a private 5G ‘network in a box’ and opens up many possibilities for future use. 5G technology in live broadcasts.”

The technology will be hosted in Neutral Wireless’ non-public, fully portable 5G network with antenna, located in a corner of the balcony of the main event pavilion. According to the company, its technology will ensure that while dancers perform on bagpipes and cabers flying through the air, games will be delivered with dedicated bandwidth using a shared spectrum, with no interference or capacity issues affecting the quality of the broadcast. transmission even in large crowds. where many consumers and visitors use their cell phones and local WiFi.

Mark Smith, IBC Accelerator Media Innovation Program Manager, added: “Pitlochry will help us show that 5G remote production can take place anywhere. We are testing in four remote areas of the world, Ireland, Kenya, New Zealand, as well as Pitlochry, which provides the perfect opportunity to focus on a private 5G network relaying learnings to the global tech community media and entertainment.

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Jennifer R. Strohm