Distribution of Linear and Nonlinear Radio using eMBMS (Rel-12) and FeMBMS (Rel-14)


  • BBC (Public Service Media - Content Provider)

  • Cisco (Infrastructure)

  • CloudNet (Infrastructure)

  • Lime Microsystems (Infrastructure)

  • University of Strathclyde (Academia and Public Institutions)

  • Orkney Islands Council (Academia and Public Institutions)



  • "BBC ‘5G Radio’ App with 13 live BBC radio stations (broadcast on handsets)

  • "BBC Sounds" App, with live (broadcast) and on-demand content (unicast) together seamlessly in a single App


  • May 2018 – September 2019 (17 months, 8 months of which were public user trials)


  • Orkney Islands (UK)



  • FeMBMS (Release 14) / LTE-based 5G Broadcast (Release 16)


Equipment and Infrastructure

  • "Rel-12: unicast + broadcast eMBMS; Rel-14: broadcast-only FeMBMS"

  • "eMBMS (Rel-12): A single LimeNet base station in Orkney connected to an omni-directional antenna with a local core network providing a service to 30 broadcast-capable handsets provided to members of the public;

  • FeMBMS (Rel-14): Demonstration of a BBC-developed 5G Broadcast hardware modem (modulator/demodulator)."


Spectrum / Frequencies

  • 700 MHz


Main goals

  1. Better understand the practicalities of using and the performance of 3GPP broadcast modes;

  2. Gain insight into audience behaviour and perceptions of the service;

  3. Explore the feasibility of enabling existing BBC applications (such as BBC Sounds) for the playback of services provided over the broadcast modes.