Cellular bonding products are key tools for live event produc- ers, who use them to transmit their live streams to the cloud via these multiplexed cellular signals when Ethernet or Wi-Fi sn’t available, and to replace much more expensive satellite
transmissions. To catch up on the past, present, and future of cellular
bonding, we spoke with executives from four companies that manufacture and distribute cellular bonding products and services.
Specifically, we corresponded via email with LiveU COO and Co-founder Avi Cohen. We spoke with Cahit Akin, CEO of Mushroom Networks; Bob Hildeman (CEO) and Alex Telitsine (CTO) from Streambox,
Inc.; and Jon Landman, VP Sales at Teradek. Here are the questions,
and here’s what we learned.
What Is Cellular Bonding?
For those new to the technology, cellular bonding products use multiple cellular modems to combine 3G, 4G, LTE, and other cellular signals
to provide increased throughput and signal resiliency. Many cellular
bonding products can also combine other signals, like Wi-Fi and Ethernet, for even greater robustness.
Interestingly, Streambox developed its first bonding products during
the second Iraq War when a prominent news organization requested a
product that could combine two 64Kbps Inmarsat satellite signals into
a 128Kbps stream for both video and audio. Much of the news delivered
remotely during that war was via bonded signals.
Although our primary focus is on live production, cellular bonding
is used in a much broader range of applications. For example, cellular
bonding products provide Wi-Fi on trains and buses, provide data and
video links for first responders, transmit signals from remote security
cameras, and even provide data links for crop sensors on large farms.
Cellular Bonding for
Live Event Streaming:
THE STATE OF THE ART
By Jan Ozer