UK operator group BT is working with streaming specialist Broadpeak to pitch its recently-developed multicast technology to content companies.

Nick Wood

March 12, 2024

2 Min Read
source: bt

The tech in question is called Multicast-Assisted Unicast Delivery (MAUD). Developed at BT's Adastral Park R&D site and unveiled in December, it is designed to ease the burden that live streaming places on networks.

With more consumers choosing streaming over traditional broadcast TV to watch live events like sports, concerts, esports tournaments and major news, broadband networks are tasked with carrying an increasing number of unicast streams.

MAUD is designed to make life easier by grouping individual streams into a single multicast stream in the core network, and then converting them back into unicast streams at the edge, from where they are delivered to player applications on end-user devices.

Much of the heavy lifting is done by Broadpeak's nanoCDN multicast adaptive bitrate streaming (mABR) solution. It comprises a transcaster at the head-end for combining the streams, and software installed on a home gateway or set-top-box (STB) to divide them back up again.

MAUD builds on this by integrating mABR seamlessly with content provider applications, eliminating the need to roll out updates to end users' apps.

According to BT, MAUD can cut bandwidth consumption by up to 50 percent, and it also requires fewer content caches, which reduces energy consumption.

"MAUD is a revolutionary development in how live video is delivered over the Internet," said Howard Watson, BT's chief security and networks officer. "It will improve video streaming experiences for viewers, delivering a more reliable, consistent picture and increases content delivery efficiency for broadcasters and video service providers."

BT and Broadpeak are confident they have a winner on their hands, so they are going to start offering MAUD to broadcasters and content companies. They expect these potential customers to start trialling it throughout this year.

With the UEFA Euro 2024 football tournament kicking off in Germany this summer, this year could be bigger than most for live streaming.

"We are very excited to support BT Group with the launch of such an impressive live video streaming initiative," said Jacques Le Mancq, CEO of Broadpeak. "MAUD answers the critical requirements for enhanced video quality, simpler content delivery, and increased sustainability, making it a game changer for broadcasters and video service providers."

For BT, this opportunity to offer a better live streaming experience to end users could give it an edge over the competition. And while the UK incumbent is no longer in the business of sports content, MAUD gives it a means of capitalising on its enduring popularity.

About the Author(s)

Nick Wood

Nick is a freelancer who has covered the global telecoms industry for more than 15 years. Areas of expertise include operator strategies; M&As; and emerging technologies, among others. As a freelancer, Nick has contributed news and features for many well-known industry publications. Before that, he wrote daily news and regular features as deputy editor of Total Telecom. He has a first-class honours degree in journalism from the University of Westminster.

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