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NEC communication technology enables live video distribution using mobile terminals alone

*** For immediate use November 20, 2014

Tokyo, November 20, 2014 - NEC Corporation (NEC; TSE: 6701) has developed the world’s first* “Infrastructure-less Communication Technology,” which is able to build a network using only mobile terminals, such as smartphones or tablets, for live video distribution via terminals.


The technology makes it possible to distribute video recorded in the field to an administrator in real-time, even in environments where existing communications infrastructure such as 3G/LTE or Wi-Fi access points are unavailable, such as tunnels, underground areas and skyscraper construction sites, and during large-scale disasters. The technology also allows footage of sporting matches or events to be broadly distributed to the mobile terminals of tens of thousands of spectators without placing a load on the 3G or LTE networks provided by telecom carriers, even in environments such as stadiums where many people gather in one place and network congestion occurs.


Recently, expectations have been placed on the utilization of communications between Wi-Fi terminals without going through existing communications infrastructure. This is meant to support communications during disasters, when regular communications are not available, at construction and mining projects, where it is difficult to establish communication environments, and at concert and sporting event venues, where there are momentary spikes in communications demand. However, when Wi-Fi is used, it takes time to establish new connections between terminals, and there are limits on higher speeds when multiple terminals share the same frequency. For this reason, Wi-Fi has only been able to handle small-sized data, such as text and photos that allow for delays.


The main features of this new technology are as follows:


1. Forms a stable network in accordance with a terminal’s movements

Wi-Fi Direct, a Wi-Fi standard that enables strong encryption and fast communication speeds, is used as the communications system between terminals. Although encryption keys are usually necessary every time connections are established between terminals, the technology uses a system to retain the keys temporarily. This means that even when a connection temporarily cuts out, the network can be maintained by reestablishing the connection with another terminal in approximately one second. In addition, by having several terminals switch Wi-Fi Direct groups for short periods in order to relay information between groups, communications between many groups and large-scale communications can be achieved.


2. Achieves high definition video transmission with a relay transmission method

NEC has developed a technology that suppresses communications failures due to conflicting frequencies even when there are an excessive number of terminals. When engaging in large-scale video distribution, by switching between multiple frequency channels while shifting the distribution timing between the terminals sending and receiving information, packet collisions can be reduced and video distribution at transmission speeds higher than 1Mbps are possible in environments where, for example, communications take place between five terminals.


3. Achieves transmission control that is resistant to interruptions

NEC has developed a distribution source switching technology which is able to automatically continue video data transmission from another terminal possessing the same video when data transmission from a terminal currently relaying the video is interrupted. As redundancy can be achieved by simply placing relay terminals appropriately, the reliability of video distribution is improved.


“In the course of concentrating on its social solutions business, NEC has pursued research and development into advanced communication technologies. This new technology makes it possible to establish network infrastructure, even during a disaster or under congested communications conditions. Moving forward, NEC will strive to develop and commercialize networks that will serve as the infrastructure for a safe and secure society,” said Motoo Nishihara, General Manager, Cloud System Research Laboratories, NEC Corporation.





*According to NEC research.



This work was partly supported by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) of the Japanese Government.


About NEC Corporation

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