The objective of the project was to develop a reference end to end hybrid Satellite/Terrestrial network to serve as a platform for prototyping product offerings in the areas of multimedia broadcast, adaptive bitrate streaming, content distribution networks and end to end quality of service management. Specifically the aim has been to enhance the end to end hybrid network to use broadcast techniques to populate network edge CDN appliances which can support and cache (normalised) ABR streaming content, while maintaining good QoE and QoS characteristics.
- Enhance baseline platform to support eMBMS
- Integrate CDN appliances at the hub and remote sides
- Enhance platform to support the efficient delivery of ABR streaming media
- Investigate how best to harmonize the QoS management mechanism present in each network segment in order to achieve a good overall QoE
- Reduced backhaul traffic
- More efficient use of satellite bandwidth
- Improved user perceived quality of experience
- In order to support LTE Multimedia Broadcast the system includes software defined UEs and eNodeBs with support for eMBMS
- The CDN appliances support caching of streaming content at the networks edge (remote side)
- The system has been enhanced to support the efficient delivery of ABR content over satellite backhaul
The project consists of the following work packages:
- WP1000 - Multimedia Broadcasting
- WP2000 - End to End QoS Management
- WP3000 - CDN Integration
- WP4000 - Adaptive Bit Rate Video Streaming
- WP5000 - Reference Platform Integration
- WP6000 - Project Management
As of January 2019 the project is complete.
The finished platform demonstrates a number of optimisation techniques which may be applied to such a hybrid network, including media streaming with combined satellite multicast and eMBMS broadcast, access-agnostic edge CDN implementation with support for (and caching of) encrypted content, and optimised adaptive bitrate content delivery to the edge, with real-time transcoding to multiple DASH representations. The project also included work within the QoS area to target engineering tools that may be used initially to assist in evaluating current behaviour within complex hybrid systems, but ultimately to develop into analysis tools for real deployments.
The demonstrator has illustrated the potential bandwidth savings that may be achieved using these techniques, as well as showing the potential improvement in user experience as a consequence of edge caching. Finally it demonstrated how content may be cached independently of the access media initially used to fetch it, and how such content may be prepositioned efficiently.