High speed racing and low latency 5G Broadcast distribution at the MotoGP™ in Austria

From the 18th to the 20th of August, Nakolos set out to enhance the MotoGP™ experience for visitors in Spielberg. The race itself and all the behind-the-scenes action was transmitted directly to 5G Broadcast-capable smartphones, live with low-latency.

The allure of motorsport extends beyond the track itself, delving into behind-the-scenes insights and diverse viewpoints such as that of the driver, makes the racing experience truly unique. As part of MotoGP™, the world’s most exciting motorsport, last weekend the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria became a test track for the innovative transmission technology 5G Broadcast, which will enable the audience at the race track to follow live content from various camera perspectives directly on their mobiles in the future.

During the tests, several signals, including the Servus TV signal and onboard camera perspectives of the riders, were transmitted directly to 5G Broadcast-enabled smartphones at the race track. The latency between the live experience and the live stream on the mobiles was measured. The test users of the prototype smartphones were thus able to enjoy a unique live experience at the race track for the first time.

“As the commercial rights holder for the world’s most exciting sport, we naturally support new technologies that take the viewer experience to a new level and push boundaries. Innovation is a core value of our sport and we’re proud to have seen it in action with this successful test at the Red Bull Ring.”

Sergi Sendra, Head of Global Technology Dorna

We used a self-assembled mobile 5G Broadcast (5G BC) van to provide a temporary 5G BC coverage at the race track. After showing low-latency distribution over 5G BC as a proof-of-concept at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this year, Nakolos has now demonstrated for the first time the low-latency use case in a live, high-speed sports environment. The mobile van setup consists of a low-latency encoder, the Nakolos 5G BC core (more info to be published around IBC), and a 5G Broadcast transmitter by Syes to provide a live-transmission with millisecond-level latencies, ensuring that viewers remained engaged in real-time throughout the whole race.

“ServusTV stands for innovation in every area, as proven by the real-time layover in ServusTV ON as part of our football broadcasts. We are therefore delighted that, together with ORS and in cooperation with MotoGP™, we were able to successfully enable a new broadcast technology through domestic development know-how in a first go-live test.”

David Morgenbesser, Commercial Director Servus TV

The test demonstrated that 5G Broadcast is perfectly suited to enable viewers to watch the action in real time on their mobiles or tablets at events with a large audience – in this case a crowd of nearly 100,000 – with relatively small effort. With latencies measured well below one second (glass-to-glass), the test was completed successfully, which makes the two companies supporting the test, Dorna and ServusTV, positive for future applications.

“After the successful test at the Donauinselfest, we have now demonstrated at the MotoGP™ at Red Bull Ring that with 5G broadcast event technology, many people can simultaneously follow the action at the race track without any loss of quality and, for the first time, with a camera-to-stream (glass-to-glass) latency of less than one second. With ORS’ mobile setup, temporary 5G broadcast coverage at sporting events, concerts or festivals is thus possible at any time.”

Michael Wagenhofer, CEO ORS Group

How to: first low-latency 5G Broadcast transmission at a live-event

Four different live signals were provided by the MotoGP™ team at the TV compound: Servus TV local, International Program Feed with and without timecode and rider perspectives. The channels were contributed over HD-SDI through a 300 m long fiber cable to the mobile Nakolos 5G Broadcast van.

Each channel was transcoded by a low latency encoder from SDI input to IP Multicast (RTP).

The video packets were taken by the Nakolos 5G BC core which served them to the Syes 5G BC modulator and transmitter, capable of transmitting power up to 250 W.

To avoid interferences with the other RF signals at the event, a critical mask filter was used before the signals were transmitted over the antenna (mounted on a retractable mast) to the event location.

Multiple test users had a chance to watch the 5G Broadcast streams on their prototype smartphones (CRDs) using the Nakolos standalone app for events during the whole weekend.

After several tests including reception tests all around the race track and glass-to-glass measurements the overall end-to-end latency was around 800 ms.

One of the main benefits of this setup is that it is mobile, easy to set up within an hour and only needs power and the signals to start a 5G Broadcast transmission at events like live sport, concerts or festivals.

The Nakolos Team setting up the 5G Broadcast coverage at the race track © ORS Group

We would like to thank our partners Dorna, Servus TV, Bitstem, Insys VT, Syes and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. for their support with this project. We would not have been able to successfully carry out the tests without their help.

Do you want to be part of the action next time? Contact us at office@nakolos.com.