The existing 3GPP Packet-Switched Streaming (PSS) architecture which was developed for 3G and 4G and evolved to carry streaming content with DASH (Dynamic and Adaptive Streaming over HTTP) is now seen as too limited for 5G. 3GPP has, therefore, started developing a new media streaming architecture, considering the latest advances in the media industry and the features offered by the 5G system. Recognising that nowadays most media and video content delivered to the user is provided by several online service providers, the new 3GPP 5G Media Service Architecture (5GMSA) focuses on different collaboration and deployment models between mobile network operators and media service providers. These collaboration and deployment models also cater for traditional broadcasters, which increasingly see the need for high-quality contributions via mobile network, e.g. to cover unplanned or transient events. The new architecture supports unicast downlink media distribution and uplink streaming.
The existing 3GPP (Third Generation Partnership Project) Packet Switched Streaming (PSS) architecture, described in TS 26.233 and TS 26.234, was developed for 3G and 4G and was tailored for Mobile Network Operator (MNO) managed streaming services of the like of Mobile TV. Its architecture is vertical with a strong integration of its components like codecs, DRM (Digital Rights Management), transport protocols, analytics and device functionalities. PSS assumes that the services are under control of the MNO. With the explosion of online video services on Mobile Broadband Access, the PSS architecture has been evolved to support more efficient codecs and delivery protocols i.e. DASH (Dynamic and Adaptive Streaming over HTTP) with HEVC (High-Efficiency Video Coding) video coding aligned with the industry, together with network assistance functions and analytics support. Despite these enhancements, the PSS architecture is still not fit for purpose to integrate current online video services.
The 5G System offers many features e.g. Mobile Broadband connectivity with high bitrates and low latency, network slicing, distributed and mobile edge compute, that have the potential to augment the quality and efficiency of Audio/Video streaming services and to enable newly emerging services beyond traditional 2D video of TV and online services like 360VR, 6DoF (6 Degrees of Freedom) VR, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality applications. The combination of 5G system features with state-of-the-art and emerging media services promises new technical and commercial opportunities.
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