“The Viability of Multicast ABR in Future Streaming Architectures”: a paper by SVA

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The SVA organization recently issued a white paper, with contributions from Broadpeak. The paper, “The Viability of Multicast ABR in Future Streaming Architectures,” depicts the technology, the surrounding ecosystem, and neutrally answers some of the questions that are typically raised when discussing the matter. Thanks to its numerous deployments involving CPE and hot spots’ router manufacturers, as well as network operators, Broadpeak’s vision addresses these legitimate questions, which will be discussed in this blog post.


What’s the ROI for Multicast ABR?

The main subject of the paper is the deployment of cache/CDN infrastructure combined with enhanced protocols and compression formats, and how this impacts multicast ABR ROI. It is important to note that a telecom operator may have different motivations for deploying multicast ABR. One reason is to reduce the load in its network and control infrastructure investments in order to absorb consumption peaks while avoiding over-dimensioning. But there is another benefit of having the same ABR technology feeding the main TV screen and the home’s mobile terminals. By harmonizing all video delivery solutions, operators can achieve significant opex savings.


Will Caching Reduce TCO?

Regarding caching, and more precisely PoP (Point of Presence) caching, a telecom operator’s own cache infrastructure continues to expand at various paces and coding formats continue to evolve. On the other hand, handset and terminals evolve too, supporting even more bandwidth-hungry resolutions and applications than ever (i.e., UHD) that lead to backbone overloading. Our simulations over a three-year period have shown that deploying multicast ABR leads to a reduced TCO by 50 to 90 percent compared with deploying unicast streaming servers (according to the number of channels and targeted audience).


How Will 5G Affect Video Delivery?

It’s important to question the impact of next-generation cellular networks and 5G future spectrum capacities. The possibility of delivering higher quality video on mobile networks could lead to an increase in content consumption, justifying the deployment of technologies to avoid congestion and fulfil the promise of quality. Whether it will be through feeding edge caches (located in the mobile infrastructure) or the terminals directly, multicast ABR technology offers a solution for decreasing the impact in the core network.


What’s the Impact on the OTT Ecosystem?

The last question is about the impact of the technology on the OTT ecosystem. As multicast ABR is deployed in a managed environment, it might appear that it’s not being useful for over-the-top delivery. This perspective would be ignoring some use cases that can benefit from multicast assisted contribution. For example, Broadpeak has deployed the technology to feed OTT hot spots (i.e., in hotels and bars) wherein the multicast ABR was deployed over a satellite feed.


In addition, as described in another blog post, multicast ABR deployed by operators can be monetized with content providers that have an OTT approach. In this case, operators play the part of CDN services, but with a reach that extends deeper in their network and with a much higher level of control over the quality of service.


Read the full paper here.

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