Broadpeak - Newsletter
March 2015 The Broad Picture #3


CDN technologies for use in mobile networks

Based on the type of video application that mobile operators want to address, and according to the type of environment where the end-users are evolving, the best technical solution is not necessarily the same.
The density, in terms of viewers in the coverage area, is a relevant factor when deciding what video delivery optimization architecture to deploy.



     In locations where the number of smartphone users is not an issue, bandwidth savings in the backbone network can be made by deploying a standard content delivery network (CDN).

A mobile network can be divided into two main subnetworks:
•    the backbone, which starts with the headend and is universal to all types of delivery, wired or wireless; and
•    the backhaul, which contains the equipment specific to the mobile network, from the PDN gateway down to the base stations.

The points of presence where local caches are located when serving low-density areas can be mapped with the PDN gateways. This optimizes the backbone by reducing the traffic in the core network. Content that is most requested in the backhaul fed by a specific PDN gateway can be cached at this entry point as it becomes popular, in a way that is very similar to a standard CDN scenario for IPTV or cable networks.


     Small cell technology can help operators deal with the increasing traffic and bandwidth limitations of the radio spectrum in the access network. But even with many small cells deployed over the country, the traffic still has to be managed by the Evolved Packet Core (EPC) – the backhaul.
The EPC also has its own bandwidth limitations, and it becomes difficult for operators to guarantee a good quality of experience to subscribers.

This is where a CDN can help with handling network limitations. Under this approach, popular content should be streamed to end-users from a location as close as possible to them. Operators can get closer by using the base station (eNodeB) as a component of the CDN capable of hosting some processing mechanisms as well as caching capacity.

This traffic offload or local breakout reroutes the U-plane directly to a local gateway, or more generally to the Internet. The C-plane can still be connected using a standard 3GPP interface to the EPC.

The benefits for end-users and operators are clear:
•    Quality (i.e., short startup time, ABR video quality) is improved due a short RTT (round trip time).

•    The load on the network is decreased, and operators don’t need to invest in new mobile equipment to handle excessive traffic. Staying with a standard network, operators will need to invest rapidly, according to recent research on mobile consumption, to handle all the new traffic.

Operators have already deployed many base stations, and local breakout can leverage this equipment to host software, allowing the mechanism to be very close to end-users.


     In a very crowded area, small cells can again be used to increase the capabilities of a network; however, this solution has limits. For example, in a stadium environment where people can follow live actions on their personal device, operators have to deal with thousands of simultaneous users in a zone covered by a limited number of eNodeBs.

When many people are watching the same content, the best optimization consists of using a broadcast technology. LTE eMBMS (evolved multimedia broadcast/multicast service) is also called LTE broadcast, and for good reason. When using LTE broadcast, the bandwidth is shared between all of the users watching the same content in a given area.

The eMBMS technology that is part of LTE standards can make live TV a reality for mobile operators.

4G LTE networks have paved the way toward new video content consumption models that are not just limited to single mobile devices. The development of LTE home gateways now allows users to watch videos on their TV screens, switching to broadband ADSL or cable networks in zones where fixed lines have not yet been deployed.
As a result, mobile operators have a real opportunity to generate huge savings as well as new revenues optimizing their network for video. At Broadpeak, we have numerous ways of helping them achieve this goal.
You can download the “CDN technologies for use in mobile networks” white paper here to find out what they are.

Author: Jeremy Desmauts,
Product Manager - Broadpeak
White Paper:CDN technologies for use in mobile networks

Broadpeak's mobile video delivery solutions
Video delivery over mobile networks presentation

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More about broadpeak

Broadpeak designs and manufactures video delivery components for Content Providers, Network Service Providers deploying IPTV, Cable, OTT and Mobile services. Its portfolio of solutions and technologies powers the delivery of movies, television programming and other content over managed networks and the internet for viewing on any type of device. The company’s systems and services help operators increase market share and improve subscriber loyalty with superior quality of experience.

Broadpeak supports all of its customers worldwide, from simple installations to large delivery systems reaching capacities of several simultaneous million streams.

Broadpeak systems leverage the long legacy of Technicolor’s excellence in broadcast and broadband content delivery from where the founders and technology originated.

Broadpeak is headquartered in Rennes, France.


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