On the evaluation of the unicast-multicast switching point in MBMS networks for transmission power saving
Current multimedia services are mainly offered through existing 3G and 4G mobile network infrastructure. Data transmission using these kind of networks is accomplished using multicast mode; in this case, the network allocates radio resources (bandwidth and transmission power) during the whole communication process. This has several drawbacks, such as bandwidth and transmission power consumption, interference and higher operational expenses. Mobile operators require new technologies to optimize their radio resources in order to get more effective operation geared to increase the customer base. Hence the need for a paradigm shift towards multicast or broadcast modes, in which several users can receive the same signal simultaneously, sharing the radio resources. In relation to the above, 3GPP provided a technical solution in the LTE Release 6 standard, which is specified as Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (MBMS). MBMS allows unicast to multicast transition from a “switching point” that determines the time and conditions for bandwidth and power transmission savings. This paper presents an evaluation to determine the optimal switching point under the MBMS standard for different wireless contexts. Furthermore, given that MBMS allows the use of Single Frequency Networks (SFN) topologies, with network gain properties, we also determine the additional power savings for this configuration.
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