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Broadcast and Multicast Communication Enablers for the Fifth-Generation of Wireless Systems

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - 5G-Xcast (Broadcast and Multicast Communication Enablers for the Fifth-Generation of Wireless Systems)

Reporting period: 2018-07-01 to 2019-07-31

5G-Xcast has designed the point-to-multipoint (PTM) capabilities for 5G New Radio (NR) and the Core Network as built-in features integrated in the overall 5G system architecture. This enables a unified end-to-end PTM framework for relevant verticals and applications, including automotive, Internet of Things (IoT), media and entertainment (M&E), and public warning (PW). In addition, the 5G-Xcast has worked towards the convergence of fixed, mobile and terrestrial broadcast networks in 5G.
The 5G-Xcast project objectives were to:
• Develop PTM capabilities considering vertical use cases for M&E, automotive, IoT and PW.
• Design a dynamically adaptable network architecture with layer independent network interfaces to dynamically and seamlessly switch between unicast, multicast and broadcast modes, or use them in parallel.
• Experimentally demonstrate key innovations for the M&E and PW verticals.
WP2 has defined the use cases, requirements and KPIs that were the basis for technical developments in the technical WPs and for evaluation of the results. WP2 also provided an outlook on possible future work and potential new use cases.

WP3 has completed the RAN benchmarking of LTE eMBMS in 3GPP Rel-14 and ATSC 3.0 as state-of-the-art, and designed the 5G-Xcast RAN using 5G NR Rel-15 as the basis. Two different PTM NR air interface designs have been developed - a Mixed Mode for dynamic and seamless switching between PTP and PTM transmission, and a Terrestrial Broadcast Mode (downlink only) that also enables the reception on devices without uplink capabilities (receive only mode). WP3 has also submitted the performance benchmarking results to the 5G-PPP IMT-2020 Evaluation Working Group.

WP4 has analysed the limitations of PTM in LTE (Rel-14 eMBMS) and designed the enhancements supporting PTM for service-based 5G architecture defined in 3GPP Rel-15. Different architecture options have been defined - including the one with minimal changes to the LTE eMBMS that enables the terrestrial broadcast mode in RAN, and the other that leverages the 5G core architecture (transparent multicast transport) that enables the mixed mode. Regarding convergence of fixed and mobile networks, WP4 has described the key drivers, benefits, and use cases for full network convergence and further developed relevant end-to-end call flows and procedures to achieve the multicast and broadcast services within the network.

WP5 has developed the content delivery framework that maximizes the exploitation of network capabilities and allows an underlying PTM network capability to be used to achieve scalability within an otherwise unicast delivery path. The interface between the content provider and the network operator was simplified. PTM is treated as an optimisation choice internal to a network and should not require modification of CDNs or end device applications. The “Content Delivery Vision” has been adopted by other technical work packages in their technical designs and standards contributions.

WP6 was responsible for trials, demonstrators and a showcase. Trials were conducted in the three test-beds: Munich (Germany), Surrey (UK) and Turku (Finland) for three different use cases: M&E hybrid broadcast service (at IRT), M&E object-based broadcasting (at 5GIC) and PW multimedia messages (at TUAS). Nine demonstrators have been developed and publicly shown:
• Hybrid Broadcast Service - several public demonstrations
• Low latency mABR live streaming, including a joint demo with SaT5G
• Spectrum Management Demonstrator - presented at EuCNC 2018
• Hybrid Broadcast Service “with MBMS on Demand (MooD)” - shown at MWC2019
• Hybrid Broadcast Service “with Multi-Link”
• Converged, autonomous MooD in fixed/mobile networks
• Object-based Broadcast across a 5G Core network using Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over IP Multicast
• Multimedia Public Warning with dynamic spectrum management
• Reliable Multicast Delivery in 5G Networks

A showcase of Hybrid Broadcast Service was presented in connection with the European Championships (EC2018) illustrating different ways of delivering audio-visual broadcast and on-demand content to various types of devices. The demonstration included a combination of free-to-air delivery of live TV to smartphone and TV sets via eMBMS, and on-demand delivery of additional content over unicast. EuCNC’19 was a culmination of project’s development with the following demonstrators:
• Converged, autonomous MooD in fixed/mobile networks
• Reliable Multicast Delivery in 5G Networks
• Forecaster5G: Object-based broadcasting over Multicast and Unicast using the Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over IP Multicast (DASM) System
• Multimedia Public Warning with dynamic spectrum management
• Hybrid Broadcast Service with Multi-Link
• mABR demonstrator (joint with Sat5G project)

WP7 has contributed to inform the differen
The key project's contribution are the inclusion of PTM capabilities as built-in delivery features in 5G and the integration of both PTP and PTM modes within a common framework for all verticals, allowing for their dynamic use, optimisation of network resources, and improved spectrum efficiency. These capabilities contribute to the 5G KPI of 1000 times higher capacity with higher user-densities through the efficient and scalable utilization of spectral resources. For the considered use cases PTM enables massive connectivity without the capacity constraints associated with PTP. This approach, together with the converged network framework paves the way for new levels of network management and cost-efficient content delivery, which enable new business opportunities in the considered verticals.

PTM is treated as an internal optimisation capability, rather than a service, and this is the key aspect that goes beyond the state of the art. It lowers the barriers to adoption of PTM technology and allows highly efficient delivery of simultaneously consumed content. This contrasts sharply with the current approaches, which require content providers to invest in integrating and managing their service with each network operator separately.
Two different technical solutions have been developed: one for transparent multicast transport and the other enhancing support to terrestrial broadcast in the 5G system.

The 5G-Xcast solution is described in:
• D3.2 (NR air interface), D3.3 (RAN architecture).
• Mobile core network (D4.1) fixed-mobile core enhancements (D4.2) procedures and call flows for session control and management (D4.3).
• Content delivery framework vision (D5.1) the key technologies for the content distribution network (D5.2) application and service layer intelligence required in the network (D5.3).
D2.2 describes the progress of the technical work with respect to the original use cases and their related requirements and KPIs. D2.3 presents possible future use cases enabled by the technical outcome of the project.
Example of one user moving between three different environments each of which has different networks