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Special Interest Group B - Hybrid Cellular and Broadcasting Networks

Co-Chairmen: Dr. David Gomez Barquero, Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, Spain, and Dr. Peter Unger, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany

Mobile multimedia broadcasting (i.e., delivering mass multimedia services to portable devices as cell phones or PDAs) is a fast emerging area with potential economic and societal impact. Digital broadcasting networks especially designed for mobile services are currently under deployment, DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcast – Handheld) being the most representative technology in Europe. On the other hand, multicast/broadcast extensions to the existing cellular networks are currently under standardization, e.g. MBMS (Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Services). Unfortunately, neither the broadcasting nor cellular systems alone can provide a cost effective service provision under all possible scenarios. Obviously, broadcasting over large areas makes sense only in scenarios with a lot of users consuming the same content. On the other hand, cellular systems can deal much better with service personalization, but the existing infrastructure and currently allocated spectrum is too limited to hope for a mass market deployment.

New systems based on interworking/integration of cellular and broadcasting networks are currently under investigation in order to provide affordable mass multimedia services. The goal of this approach is to join the advantages of both networks in order to get a more powerful system. The benefits shown in several publications are manifold, such as reducing the system cost, reducing the overall necessary data rate, improving the perceived area coverage and reducing the electromagnetic exposure, etc.

This Special Interest Group (SIG) mainly focuses on the following topics:

  • Broadcasting networks especially designed for mobile devices, special focus on DVB-H.
  • Interoperability/convergence among DVB-H and 3G: IP Datacast (IPDC).
  • Radio resource management (RRM) in hybrid cellular and broadcasting networks.
  • Network planning guidelines of hybrid networks including propagation and link budget considerations.
  • Usage scenarios and new services enabled by hybrid networks.
  • Spectrum efficiency of the hybrid systems compared to traditional cellular or broadcasting (e.g., through resource management or SFN deployment).
  • DVB-H Single Frequency Networks (SFN) planning and optimisation.
  • Design of new methods for Forward Error Correction (FEC) for file delivery and streaming services in DVB-H networks. In particular multi-burst FEC and patent-free application layer LDPC codes.
  • Design of efficient and reliable simulation models for analysis of mobile broadcasting systems.
  • Comparison to other cellular multicast and broadcast systems: 3G extensions (MBMS, HSPA), new standards (3GPP Long Term Evolution, LTE), and new DVB generations (DVB-SH, DVB-T2).