What is Mobile Multicast
Post by Jawad Ahmad Riaz
There were mobile TV services developed and launched by many mobile operators back in 2004 and the users used to watch TV via mobile terminals but today with the help of streaming technology over point to point connections, users enjoy mobile TV services. With the advancement in technology and utilization of mass media service by large markets, there comes need of new mobile network services which are much more capable than before. These capabilities are mentioned in today’s mobile network area as Multicast or Broadcast. In Point-to-multipoint also known as PTM, transmission of data packets takes place instantaneously from a single source to multiple endpoints. Multicast and Broadcast are considered to be synonyms or replacement of each other for PTM.
Broadcast: It is defined as the capability to offer the content to all users. Examples include radio and TV services which are either broadcasted via terrestrial or satellite over air as well as over cable networks.
Multicast: These are the services which are solely for the users having particular multicast group i.e. a group of users who are inclined to a specific kind of content or service e.g. cartoons, entertainment, news, politics etc. Internet was the first medium where multicasting was introduced but now a day it is used in transferring internet radio services. Networks which enable multicasting confirm that the content is only distributed and circulated over the links that serves receivers belonging to the corresponding multicast group. Hence such service can be efficiently delivered to larger user groups.
BCMCS and MBMS:
Few years back, 3rd generation project program and 3rd generation project program 2 started addressing broadcast and multicast services in GSM/WCDMA and CDMA2000 respectively. The work item, in 3GPP is titled as Multimedia Multicast Service abbreviated as MBMS while in 3GPP2 it is titled as Broadcast and Multicast Service abbreviated as BCMCS. Both services have many common features.
MBMS and BCMCS significance in Mobile Network
Following are some of the features that enhance MBMS and BCMCS in mobile networking:
- There is a set of functions that controls the broadcast/multicast delivery service. The word broadcast/multicast service center is used by MBMS where BCMCS controller is called by BCMCS.
- Broadcast/multicast routing of data streams in the main or central network.
- These services make efficient radio bearers for point-to-multipoint transmission within a cell.
Also, multimedia data is delivered by MBMS and BCMCS through particular and specifies protocols and media codecs.
Mass market in order to place and offer broadcast-like services to the users need mobile broadcast and multicast efficient capabilities which are stated by 3GGP MBMS, 3GPP2 BCMCS and related services which are standardized by OMA i.e. Open Mobile Alliance which manages the small phone devices like mobile phones. MBMS as well as BCMCS use the existing radio and core network protocols again and again and this consequently minimizes the implementation costs in terminals and the network. Likewise, business models of the various mobile operators are easily maintained by them. Broadcast services of the mobile can be easily modified as well as personalized with the purpose to broadcast content of different kinds on different areas of the network and this is because of small size of the cells now a days. Looking upon these factors we can say that mobile broadcast benefits its users more as compared to the non-mobile networks such as DVB-H because they need new receiver hardware plus additional money for the network infrastructure and business models. The abilities and skills of the existing services will become more efficient or say boosted up due to introduction of these two mobile broadcasting services. And the enhanced capacity will ultimately motivate the expansion or growth of new, mobile and mass-media services as they can be multiplexed with the previous mobile services.
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