SK Telecom partnered with Sinclair Broadcast Group establishing Cast.era, a joint venture focused on ultra-low latency over-the-top (OTT) broadcasting, cloud infrastructure for broadcasting, targeted advertising, and also advanced emergency alerting and other data transmission capabilities.
SK Telecom is the largest mobile operator in Korea, while Sinclair is a diversified media company providing local sports and news.
The Cast.era joint venture focuses on achieving greater cooperation by combining SK Telecom’s mobile and Internet communication technologies and Sinclair’s broadcasting infrastructure.
SK Telecom’s Park Kyung-mo has been appointed as Chief Technology Officer of Cast.era. In contrast, Strategic Development & Chief Technology Officer of Sinclair’s ONE Media subsidiary Kevin Gage has been appointed Lead Representative and Chief Operating Officer of Cast.era.
Cast.era aims to launch next-generation transmission services utilizing mobile and fixed broadcasting networks. The joint venture intends to provide ATSC 3.0 broadcast solutions to Sinclair station for the first time in the U.S. beginning this year.
SK Telecom and Sinclair expect to achieve high cooperation by uniting Sinclair’s broadcasting infrastructure with SK Telecom’s telecommunication technologies. The two companies will vigorously pursue more opportunities in the U.S. market, predicting that all television stations in the U.S. will launch services utilizing the new ATSC 3.0.
ATSC 3.0, which works over-the-air, is a suite of Next Generation Broadcast TV transmission standards that provide targeted advertising and ultra-high-definition video and improved audio. The suite also enables data transmission capabilities and advanced emergency alerting.
Broadcasters with ATSC 3.0 can enhance customer experience by combining one-way signals with networks that support two-way data communication.
SK Telecom’s cloud infrastructure will allow automated and virtualized merging of both broadcast and internet platforms using centralized services. Based on mobile edge computing (MEC) technologies, Cast.era intends to introduce new media services applied with augmented reality.
SK Telecom will apply a virtual network solution named ‘Simply Overlay Network Architecture (SONA),’ cloud structure management technology called ‘SKT All Container Orchestrator (TACO),’ and cloud technologies including mobile edge computing (MEC) into Sinclair’s broadcasting systems to build ATSC 3.0 broadcasting’s cloud infrastructure.
Moreover, Cast.era aims to add targeted advertising based on big data analytics to secure a competitive edge in the future advertising market.
At CES 2020, SK Telecom has successfully showcased news and sports broadcasting through the ATSC 3.0 broadcasting solution by receiving Sinclair’s television station KSNV in Las Vegas.
Furthermore, SK Telecom and Sinclair will make collaborative efforts for the standardization of technologies, including ATSC, 3GPP, and MPEG.