Whitepaper: Low Latency 5G for Professional Audio Transmission


27th January 2021

5G will provide much higher capacity and data rates, connect devices reliably with very low latency, and connect an extremely large number of devices with support for very long battery life. 5G networks will support three main application areas, namely enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) for very high data rates, ultra-reliable low-latency communications (URLLC) for mission critical applications, and massive machine-type communications (mMTC) for huge numbers of connected devices. The key performance metrics for URLLC are latency and reliability.

Programme Making and Special Events (PMSE) applications such as professional wireless microphones and in-ear-monitoring devices involve four key performance indicators (KPI) that 5G can address – reliability, latency, synchronicity and spectral efficiency. The feasibility of this challenging use case in future 5G networks is part of ongoing research.

In 2020 Nokia and Sennheiser research teams have examined latency as one of the main challenges when using a wireless IP network for transmission of isochronous audio data within a professional production environment. A state of the art 5G URLLC testbed was set up to measure, evaluate and optimize the transmission latency. The measurements obtained demonstrate that 5G URLLC concepts can meet the latency requirements for professional audio use. The result of this work, including in-depth latency and jitter measurements, was published in a white paper titled ‘Low Latency 5G for Professional Audio Transmission’.


Seppo Hämäläinen (Nokia Bell Labs), Jan Dürre (Sennheiser).

The findings of this work are incorporated and expanded in 5G RECORDS in the use case ‘Live Audio Production’.