Skuola Screenshot Piece Christos Bouras is Professor in the University of Patras, Department of Computer Engineering and Informatics. Also he is a scientific advisor of Research Unit 6 in Computer Technology Institute and Press - Diophantus, Patras, Greece. His research interests include Analysis of Performance of Networking and Computer Systems, Computer Networks and Protocols, Mobile and Wireless Communications, Telematics and New Services, QoS and Pricing for Networks and Services, e-learning, Networked Virtual Environments and WWW Issues. He has extended professional experience in Design and Analysis of Networks, Protocols, Telematics and New Services. He has published more than 450 papers in various well-known refereed books, conferences and journals. He is a co-author of 9 books in Greek and editor of 2 in English. He has been member of editorial board for international journals and PC member and referee in various international journals and conferences. He has participated in R&D projects.

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Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (MBMS) is a novel framework, extending the existing UMTS infrastructure that constitutes a significant step towards the so-called Mobile Broadband. MBMS is intended to efficiently use network and radio resources, both in the core network and, most importantly, in the air interface of UMTS Terrestrial Radio Access Network (UTRAN), where the bottleneck is placed to a large group of users. Actually, MBMS is a Point-to-Multipoint service in which data is transmitted from a single source entity to multiple destinations, allowing the network resources to be shared. MBMS is an efficient way to support the plethora of the emerging wireless multimedia and application services, such as Mobile TV and Streaming Video by supporting both broadcast and multicast transmission modes.

In MBMS rich wireless multimedia data is transmitted simultaneously to multiple recipients, by allowing resources to be shared in an economical way. MBMS efficiency is derived from the single transmission of identical data over a common channel without clogging up the air interface with multiple replications of the same data. From the service and operators' point of view, the employment of MBMS framework involves both an improved network performance and a rational usage of radio resources, which in turns leads to extended coverage and service provision. In parallel, users are able to realize novel, high bit-rate services, experienced until today only by wired users.

As the term MBMS indicates, there are two types of service mode: the broadcast mode and the multicast mode. Each mode has different characteristics in terms of complexity and packet delivery. The broadcast service mode is a unidirectional Point-to-Multipoint (PTM) service. Actually, with broadcast, the network simply floods data packets to all nodes within the network. In the multicast operation mode, data is transmitted solely to users that explicitly request such a service. More specifically, the receivers have to signal their interest for the data reception to the network and then the network decides whether the user may receive the multicast data or not. Unlike the broadcast mode, the multicast mode generally requires a subscription to the multicast subscription group and then the user joining the corresponding multicast group. Moreover, due to the selective data transmission to the multicast group, it is expected that charging data for the end user will be generated for this mode, unlike the broadcast mode.

The MBMS framework requires minimal modifications in the current UMTS architecture. As a consequence, this fact enables the fast and smooth upgrade from pure UMTS networks to MBMS-enhanced UMTS networks. The major modification in the existing UMTS platform for the provision of the MBMS framework is the addition of a new entity called Broadcast Multicast-Service Center (BM-SC). Actually, BM-SC acts as entry point for data delivery between the content providers and the UMTS network and is located in the PS domain of the CN. The BM-SC entity communicates with existing UMTS/GSM networks and external PDNs.

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