Mobilty in Multicast
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Mobility in multicast means the technical ability to provide mobility support in IP multicast communications. IP multicast session can be resumed after the change of point of attachment by a mobile terminal, without mobility management consideration. But the traditional IP multicasting has two technical issues in a mobility event; one is that the multicast session will be disrupted. Second, a join procedure for the multicast session takes a considerable time for the multicast membership update and multicast routing path update after the IP connection is established. To avoid such time-consuming procedure and session disruption by mobility in IP multicast communication, mobility support mechanisms for IP multicast are required. Depending on mobility management protocol such as Mobile IP or Proxy Mobile IPv6, or other mobility protocols over which IP multicast works, design criteria for mobility management extension are considered.
As wireless/mobile network is evolving and growing with the demand of IP multimedia service, mobility in multicast began to study in earnest with the advent of Mobile IP for the IP session continuity support of a mobile terminal. There are a variety of solutions for mobility in multicast, addressing and/or mitigating the tunnel convergence issue, join latency, point of failure, and so on. In Romdhani et al. (2004), IP multicast support mechanisms over mobile networks were comprehensively investigated, dealing with technical challenges and solutions for mobile source and mobile receiver over Mobile IP (MIP) and its variants such as Fast Mobile IPv6 (FMIPv6) and Hierarchical Mobile IPv6 (HMIPv6).
RFC 6224: Base Deployment for Multicast Listener Support in Proxy Mobile IPv6 (PMIPv6) Domains
RFC 6636: Tuning the Behavior of the Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP) and Multicast Listener Discovery (MLD) for Routers in Mobile and Wireless Networks
RFC 7028: Multicast Mobility Routing Optimization for Proxy Mobile IPv6
RFC 7261: Proxy Mobile IPv6 (PMIPv6) Multicast Handover Optimization by the Subscription Information Acquisition through the LMA (SIAL)
RFC 7287: Mobile Multicast Sender Support in Proxy Mobile Ipv6 (PMIPv6) Domains
RFC 7411: Multicast Listener Extensions for Mobile IPv6 (MIPv6) and Proxy Mobile IPv6 (PMIPv6) Fast Handovers
For tackling the problems and limitations of the centralized mobility management, i.e., MIP and PMIPv6, Distributed Mobility Management (DMM) has appeared in IETF DMM WG, analyzing the issues of centralized mobility management and extracting the requirements (Chan et al., 2014). In the requirements, IP multicast issues and problems in the centralized mobility management are analyzed, and design considerations for IP multicast over DMM are given.
- Multicast Traffic Duplication: IP multicast works per group, not per terminal, while IP mobility management is provided and handled per terminal with a tunneling method. IP multicast aims to provide an efficient transmission of the same packet for multiple terminals. Suppose that there are multiple terminals attached at the same mobility access router and they are supported by the IP tunnels from their home networks in an IP mobility architecture. IP multicast subscription on the same multicast channel for individual mobile terminal will be delivered through each tunnel and multicast traffic will be duplicate. This problem was described in PMIPv6-based networks with a proposed solution to tackle the problem in Jeon et al. (2009), which has been contributed for an optimized IP mobile multicast solution (Zuniga et al., 2013). This problem has been identified in a distributed mobility environment, as analyzed in Jeon et al. (2012) (Fig. 2).
Join Latency: To receive a copy of IP multicast packet, a receiver should join a group by initiating a multicast membership request when it learns of the group using the membership subscription protocol (IGMP or MLD). The IP multicast router sends a join message to the upstream multicast router to join the group requested from the receiver. Then, an IP multicast branch is established between the two multicast routers. This process takes a considerable time, so reducing the join latency is of importance for seamless service continuity in IP mobile multicast. For addressing the issue, tuning the behavior of IGMP and MLD protocols is required, since the behaviors and parameters of the protocols are originally specified for wired networks (Asaeda et al., 2012). Sending the IP multicast context information to a predicted mobility access router was suggested by extending mobility protocol (Jeon et al., 2009; Figueiredo et al., 2015) or using context transfer protocol (Von Hugo and Asaeda, 2013).
Mobile IPTV: Mobile IPTV is a popular application where mobility in multicast can be provided. Nowadays, for receiving multimedia streaming such as drama, movie, and news, IP multicast with mobility can be considered for watching streaming contents, particularly in commute time.
Personal Broadcasting Service (PBS): personal broadcasting service where a mobile sender broadcasts the real-time streaming in a street or moving car is going to be popular. The multicast mobility architecture for PBS was designed and demonstrated in Medieval (2012).
Multimedia Broadcast/Multicast Service (MBMS): MBMS is the 3GPP-based multicast/broadcast platform, which enables multicast/broadcast services for mobile terminals. MBMS aims for efficiency of multimedia traffic transmission on the same region covered by a base station (BS). However, due to the economies of channel popularity per BS region and dedicated MBMS radio frequency, it is somewhat deprecated.
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