SUMMARY REMARKS & TESTBEDS
The emerging 5G networks promise improvements in terms of network capabilities such as high bandwidth and ultra-low communication latency. To bridge the gap between the current capabilities and the ones proposed for the next networks generation, caching is known to be effective, then it is considered as a critical component as well. Going further, 5G enables a new cloud-based and distributed infrastructure which lets to easily deploy network functions such to be able to optimize network resources usage. In this scenario, network operators and/or service providers will be able to allocate or deallocate caching resources to fit network state changes at any time. Caching capabilities will be allowed to be deployed at any network level, from the network core, such as a legacy Content Delivery Network (CDN) based solution, to Radio Access Network (RAN), by means of Multi-access Edge Computer (MEC) paradigm, passing through all the intermediate network nodes and having a distributed multi-level caching infrastructure. Thus, 5G will be beneficial to video applications which require higher video quality, such as media entertainment, or have time constraints, such as critical security application like Vehicle-to-X or eHealth applications. Additionally, and in parallel to 5G developments, the growing interest from the industry on further evolving the mixed unicast/multicast 3GPP delivery capabilities has been addressed into the related work items from 3GPP RAN1 and SA Specification groups. The latest Multicast enhancements have been already accommodated into the so call LTE-Advanced Pro specifications (Release 14) and it is expected that new enhancements will be considered for the future Release 17 and beyond. Hence, an additional level of resource usage optimization is possible by exploiting shared unicast/multicast links through cellular deployments that employ MBMS (Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service) capabilities.
This action proposes two main activities. From one side the experimentation at both Core Network (CN) and Radio Access Network (RAN), including primarily LTE and complementary Wi-Fi, of a Multi-access Edge Computing setup which allows an efficient edge local cache for forecasting video contents, while reducing network traffic which pass through the existing legacy CDNs and optimizing/reducing the RAN resources and from the other, this proposal also exploits the 3GPP MBMS capabilities by optimizing the delivery of content through mixed unicast/multicast delivery links. The evaluation of the solution is done by delivering live and on-demand video streams based on Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (MPEG-DASH) in a real mixed unicast/broadcast MBMS enabled 3GPP network deployment and comparing the Quality of Experience (QoE) resulting from a legacy setup and the proposed on this experiment. Hence, this proposal besides a Multi-access Edge Computing CDN solution, it also provides direct contributions to Fed4FIRE+ by developing, implementing and upgrading the testbed federation with an OpenAirInterface based 3GPP MBMS stack. Moreover, the solution allows to shield from network issues and performance degradation by dynamic changing the CDN where the content is retrieved in case of a multi-CDN video distribution.
Vicomtech, as an applied research technological centre, will extract tangible MEC-based multi-CDN solutions to be transferred to companies worldwide, focusing on Digital Media companies, broadcasting industry and media solutions for the automation sector.