Netscout launches IP multicast service assurance system
Netscout has announced the availability of new service assurance visibility capability for IP multicast video over 4G/LTE mobile networks using enhanced Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Services (eMBMS). The vendor’s nGeniusONE Service Assurance Platform and Adaptive Service Intelligence (ASI) technology offers a dedicated service monitor for eMBMS services that enables mobile network operators to proactively monitor and quickly triage service issues on what has become the industry’s leading method of efficient live video delivery over mobile IP networks.
“Mobile subscribers are increasingly using video to watch content and communicate. Mobile network operators need to provide high-quality viewing experiences and eliminate potential challenges with service quality and delivery, making network performance a mission critical priority for customer satisfaction,” said Elisabeth Rainge, the vice president of communications service provider operations at analyst firm IDC. “IP multicast and eMBMS, in particular, are key technologies for mobile network operators to efficiently deliver multimedia content. Consequently, they require updated visibility tools and strategies.”
eMBMS allows mobile service providers to control the distribution of multimedia content to targeted audience areas. Communications service providers (CSPs) have used eMBMS in a number of applications ranging from venue specific broadcast, for example, within a stadium or arena for providing rich media with multiple camera angles, replays, and related statistics, to regional broadcasts of home team games and local news, to nationwide broadcast of news and major events like the NFL’s Super Bowl, the World Cup or the Olympic Games. eMBMS uses the LTE network to provide an efficient and cost effective solution for mobile network operators to deliver common multimedia content over the existing infrastructure with a flexible sharing of unicast and multicast streams. With the introduction of eMBMS, operators are faced with new challenges associated with next-generation adaptive bit rate (ABR) video distribution that allows for the further optimisation of resources and bandwidth based on the capabilities of the end-user device.
“The delivery of IP multicast over 4G/LTE networks involves a very complex service delivery infrastructure,” said Bruce Kelley, the senior vice president and chief technology officer at Netscout. “Service can be impacted at any of a number of key nodes as the video stream traverses the network, encoding platforms and distribution methods. Issues in any one of these key areas can adversely impact the quality of service experienced by the subscriber. To ensure a consistent measure of user experience, Netscout’s patented ASI technology provides unique key performance indicators (KPIs) for the service delivery elements and mechanism required for delivery of both eMBMS and next-generation adaptive video. As a result, operators who rely on Netscout now have the tools to consistently measure and report on service performance trending across their networks.”