Verizon on Wednesday said it has teamed up with three international carriers to increase global support for the LTE Broadcast (LTE-B) standard.
Working with Australia’s Telstra, South Korean operator kt and U.K. wireless giant EE, Verizon said its goal is to make LTE-B service available in all top- and mid-tier devices launched in 2017. The combined reach of the four carriers is more than 200 million mobile subscribers, Verizon said.
LTE-B, also known as evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (eMBMS), allows operators to broadcast a single stream of multimedia data to many devices rather than sending the streams to each device individually. By allowing one stream to reach many, the technology also helps operators free up bandwidth.
Additionally, Verizon said LTE-B has the potential to help deliver push notifications, such as weather and public safety warnings; enable connected digital signage to dynamically customize messages; become a service platform for the Internet of Things; and help smooth the transition to 5G services.
Each of the four carriers has already tested the technology. Both Verizon and kt have already launched LTE-B services commercially, deploying the technology in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Verizon has used the technology, which it markets under the Multicast name, to stream popular sports events, including the Super Bowl.
Verizon said the LTE-B alliance will meet on a quarterly basis to sort out next steps for the development of LTE-B standards and implementation. The carrier said mobile network operators, device manufacturers and chipset makers are all welcome to join.
Though not part of the new alliance, other U.S. carriers are also testing out LTE-B.
In January 2015, AT&T announced it trialed LTE-B technology during the College Football Playoff National Championship. At the time, the carrier said it had not deployed the technology commercially, but was “excited” about the possibilities it presented.