Yesterday, Orange Belgium and EVS inaugurated the launch of the "Flex Production" 5G project at La Grand Poste in Liège. Flex Production makes it possible to dispense with the need for mobile control rooms, thanks to the creation of a remote audiovisual production flow over 5G between the event location and the centralized production center. To carry out this ambitious pilot project, a collaboration was established with the Théâtre de Liège for the play Andromaque, which was broadcast live to more than 10,000 students from Wallonie-Bruxelles Enseignement.
Accelerating 5G usage applications in Belgium
In March 2023, Orange Belgium was selected by the Federal Governmental Department of Economy to conduct 11 Belgian pilot projects supported by 5G, with the objective to accelerate the rollout and the implementation of 5G use cases in Belgium. One of the projects, called ‘Flex Production’, is a collaboration with Liège-based broadcasting company EVS, to see how 5G infrastructure can be used to stream events to a remote production team. The aim is to offer EVS greater flexibility and accessibility, with a positive impact on costs and the environment, and help them strengthen their position as world leader by becoming more efficient, safe and sustainable. It could also give a boost to a sector under pressure from foreign content.
Driven by a desire to innovate, a forward-looking vision and sharp expertise, Orange Belgium is demonstrating with this project the full potential of 5G Stand Alone (5G SA). Unlike the 5G non-standalone (5G NSA), which is deployed on the existing 4G LTE network core, the 5G SA is a completely new mobile network architecture, based on 5G components only. For ‘Flex Production’, Orange Belgium has opted for a ‘slicing’ of its autonomous 5G network to enable EVS to have its own private network slice, with guarantees in terms of bandwidth and security.
At the Théâtre de Liège, where ‘Andromaque’ was performed, Ultra-HD cameras sent video streams via the 5G SA slice guaranteeing sufficient throughput and no latency to a control room located in La Grand Poste. There, the production team processed the footage, created the live film and broadcast it to more than 10,000 students in classrooms across Wallonia and Brussels.
A future defined by an outstanding multi-gigabit networks leadership
Orange Belgium is continuing to roll out its Lead the Future strategy, defined in part by an outstanding multi-gigabit networks leadership. The roll-out of 5G core SA will result in the most reliable network and enable customized B2B servicing. Orange Belgium actively encourages partnerships to accelerate the deployment of 5G user applications across Belgium. By collaborating with organizations such as EVS, the operator wants to show the potential of 5G in a transparent way, using its robust national and international network. The project also aligns with Orange Belgium's goal of achieving 5G coverage of 90% of the population by end of 2025.
"Through the ‘Flex Production’ project, we are demonstrating that it is possible to push back the boundaries of the broadcasting sector by improving the productivity, security and sustainability of activities by exploiting the many advantages of autonomous 5G technology. Thanks to the joining of forces with telecoms operator VOO and the exemplary cooperation and flexibility of our VOO staff, we were able to bring 5G SA to the Théâtre de Liège in record time. The deployment and ongoing modernization of our network has enabled this project to come to fruition. This working relationship is very promising for the future of our company", explains Werner De Laet, Chief Enterprise & Innovation Officer at Orange Belgium.
"5G will help to significantly reduce the need for production teams to travel, and consequently CO2 emissions," says Nicolas Bourdon, Chief Marketing Officer at EVS. "In addition, live streaming via 5G combined with a remote production team has another advantage. In fact, by centralizing production tools using 5G technology, we are moving towards a pooling of resources and therefore a reduction in operational costs dedicated to producing events. This centralization will make it possible to produce several productions on the same day: a televised debate in the morning, a play in the afternoon and the broadcast of a sporting event in the evening. It will also give a wider audience access to more cultural and regional content, such as theatre productions or provincial championships."
EVS is recognized worldwide as the leader in live video technology for new media production and delivery. EVS solutions are trusted by customers around the world for their ability to deliver compelling sports, entertainment and news programming in real time, reaching billions of viewers every day. As we continue to expand, our commitment to sustainable growth for our business and our industry is clearly demonstrated through our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy. This commitment is reflected not only in our performance, but also in our outstanding results. Headquartered in Liege, Belgium, our company has a global presence, employing over 600 team members in Australia, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, North America and Latin America. EVS is listed on Euronext Brussels, under the symbol EVS, and its ISIN code is BE0003820371.