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Enabling Multimedia Broadcast/Multicast Services over Converged ...

Enabling Multimedia Broadcast/Multicast Services over Converged ...

Enabling Multimedia Broadcast/Multicast Services over Converged

Enabling Multimedia Broadcast/MulticastServices over Converged NetworksN. Baker * , M. Zafar * , A. Al-Hezmi ** , M. Fuchs ****Mobile & Ubiquitous Systems Group, CCCS Research,UWE, Bristol, UK BS16 1QY** Fraunhofer Institut FOKUS,Kaiserin-Augusta-Allee 31, 10589, Berlin, Germany*** Bamboo Media Casting,Hasharon Road 12, P.O.B 5035, Kfar-Saba 44150, IsraelEmail: {madiha.zafar, nigel.baker}@uwe.ac.uk, al-hezmi@fokus.fraunhofer.de, meir@bamboomc.comAbstract— The C-MOBILE (EU, IST FP6 Call 4) projectcentral aim is to evolve MBMS technologies towards the“beyond 3G vision” of a converged global network based on theusage of multiple broadcast transport bearers. Architecturally,the work targets a converged, multi-bearer, service architecturemaking use of one or more broadcast technologies and systemsfor content and service delivery. This paper presents theresearch objectives and discusses the issues and challenges inenabling multimedia broadcast/multicast services overconverged networks.Index Terms — Mobile Multimedia, Multicast/Broadcast,Service Delivery, Next Generation Networks, Convergence.I. INTRODUCTIONEvolution of mobile communications is driven by manytechnology factors but four in particular are of significance.One is the ability of devices to be able to send and receivedigital multimedia content and the second is the convergenceof all types of networks towards the IP protocol stack. Athird is ability of devices to offer many air interfaces andperform handovers between wireless access points. Thefourth is sensor and location technologies that provide thepossibility of context aware communication. Theconsequence of the first for mobile communications is agradual shift from the basic model of offering point-to-pointvoice centric services into more complex service provisionplatforms that offer multimedia content from Mobile TV anddigital audio to video clips and photographs. Thecombination of the first two leads to an interesting situationwhere the mobile terminal becomes more of a broadcastmulticastreceiving device. The third allows the possibilityof seamless streaming multimedia mobility between devicesand networks. The fourth opens up the possibility of moresophisticated context aware group communication andinteraction such as ad-hoc communities and ubiquitousgaming. Group communication of this type is important inthe evolution of communication.The evolution of multimedia applications and services hasinitiated the need for a converged network from both thewireless and wired domains. These services ranging fromconventional TV broadcasting to personalized file transfer,traditional service-based multicast groups to context-awaread-hoc communities are to be delivered via IP protocol.Enabling convergence of telephony, data and video/TVservices so that they can be accessed over any type ofnetwork is often referred to as “triple play” in fixed linetelecommunications. A similar “mobile triple play” visionexists in the mobile communications world.Provisioning of multimedia streaming services can easilybe offered over several access technologies in a “stove pipe”model. However, enabling interactive and personalizedstreaming services in an integrated model to deliver acrossany access network requires a cooperative framework withinthe network infrastructure. The problem is how can currentmobile communication infrastructures evolve to supportthese types of communication and related services? Thereare ongoing activities by several organization bodies such asTISPAN [1], 3GPP [2], OMA (Open Mobile Alliance)[3]and DVB [4] to standardize an interactive and personalizedstreaming subsystem.The following sections cover the reference technologiesand systems (e.g. TISPAN, MBMS, IMS, OMA BCAST andother enablers), convergence issues across the architecturesand functional layers and the critical research topics to becovered to support Broadcast/Multicast in a futureconverged environment. The emphasis is on 3GPP MBMSas the target multicast-broadcast bearer.II. KEY CORE NETWORK AND SERVICE ARCHITECTURESA. 3GPP IMSIMS [5] is a major milestone in the evolution andconvergence of mobile networks. Its main functions can beclassified into four categories:− Multimedia session management.− Service activation/initiation on the applicationserver.− Network information provisioning to IMSapplications.

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