AT&T recently confirmed plans to deploy LTE Multicast beginning next year, while speaking to investors during the Oppenheimer Technology, Internet & Communications Conference, AT&T Chief Strategy Officer John Stankey stated:
“You should expect that you’ll see us begin to roll out Multicast capabilities as we move through next year. Initially, we’ll be doing it on a targeted basis and we’ll be doing it in some specific areas where we think there’s immediate deployment.”
AT&T had previously stated last year it was exploring the possibility of LTE Multicast, but hadn’t committed to any sort of timeline. AT&T is likely to use the 700MHz D and E blocks it purchased from Qualcomm for LTE Multicast, which were previously used for the transmission of the failed MrediaFLO mobile broadcast service. Verizon Wireless has also stated its own plans to deploy LTE Multicast in 2015 and it will begin adding LTE Multicast capabilities to handsets beginning in the fourth quarter of this year after a year of testing during special events, such as the Super Bowl and during the Indy 500 as well as small-scale testing by teams during the IndyCar season.
LTE Multicast allows the same content to be sent to a large number of subscribers at the same time, resulting in a more efficient use of network resources than each user requesting the same content and then having the content individually streamed to each user. The intention behind LTE Multicast is to ease the strain of multimedia streaming over LTE networks while allowing for new opportunities in terms of content delivery.