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An Approach to Open Access to Multimedia Multicast Services at the Network Edge

Ivaylo I. Atanasov, Evelina N. Pencheva, Vladislav G. Vladislavov, and Ventsislav G. Trifonov
Technical University of Sofia, Sofia, 1756, Bulgaria
Abstract—The multicast services are effective solution for content delivery to groups of subscribers. Typical multicast applications include distribution of music, video, news, advertisements, weather information, software and other data. The multicast minimizes the network traffic in comparison to unicast as the content is accessible for all users subscribed for the service simultaneously. The efforts on further evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (MBMS) in fifth generation (5G) mobile networks enable more optimal usage of network capacity and better quality of experience for end users. The MBMS requires deployment of additional functions in the core network, which from technical point of view introduces latency. There are use case scenarios where the latency has to be minimized, e.g. for mission critical applications. In this paper, we present an approach to provide MBMS functionality at the network edge using Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) technology. MEC reduces latency as it distributes the cloud capabilities closer to the place where they are needed. The vicinity to end users enables more efficient usage of network resources and higher data rates in addition to latency reduction. Among the others, the deployment of MBMS at the network edge enables location based content delivery, e.g. broadband multicasting of sport events at stadiums. A new MEC service is proposed, which enables third party applications to manage multicast sessions. Using the service, a MEC application may create a new multicast session, delete an existing multicast session, get information about the multicast session, and manage user participation in a multicast session. A MEC application may subscribe to receive notifications about multicast session events and may be notified when such events occur. The proposed MEC service follows the Representational State Format (REST) architectural style. We present the service data model which describes the data type and the structure of resource, as well as methods supported by the resources. To illustrate the approach feasibility, we model the multicast session state as seen by the network and by MEC application, and prove formally that both models are synchronized, i.e. they expose equivalent behavior. We also discuss service performance in terms of introduced latency. The latency “injected” by the service is evaluated theoretically through signaling for multicast session management. Based on published empirical data for MEC performance we determine the distributions which fit best to these data applied to the proposed MEC service.
 
Index Terms—Fifth generation mobile system, multi-access edge computing, multicast services, Representational State Transfer, state models, latency

Cite: Ivaylo I. Atanasov, Evelina N. Pencheva, Vladislav G. Vladislavov, and Ventsislav G. Trifonov, "An Approach to Open Access to Multimedia Multicast Services at the Network Edge," Journal of Communications vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 309-317, April 2020. Doi: 10.12720/jcm.15.4.309-317
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