Proactive Edge Caching for Content Delivery Networks powered by Hybrid Satellite/Terrestrial Backhauling


CALL: 2017

DOMAIN: IS - Telecommunication and Multimedia


LAST NAME: Ottersten



HOST INSTITUTION: University of Luxembourg

KEYWORDS: Satellite Telecommunication Systems, Telco Content Delivery Networks, Proactive Edge Caching

START: 2018-07-01

END: 2021-06-30


Submitted Abstract

During the past 40 years, the Internet has followed an extraordinary evolution and has become an integral part of the modern society. Especially during the last decade, the most radical evolution was the integration of smart devices. According to CISCO, “Global mobile data traffic grew 74 percent in 2015”. Looking more carefully into the traffic projections, “mobile video will increase 11-fold between 2015 and 2020, accounting for 75 percent of total mobile data traffic by 2020”. As unbelievable as this percentage may seem, it comes into perspective while considering the evolution of consumer trends related to streaming services, such as YouTube, NetFlix etc. Another factor that contributes to the traffic projections is the increasing video quality, i.e. 3D, 4K video, Virtual Reality etc., which can be translated to increased bandwidth requirements. This perspective seems very promising for content providers, since they can provide improved services and rip the benefits either through subscriptions or advertising. Nevertheless, looking at this from a telecom operator’s point of view, it is obvious that video traffic will become a bottleneck and put excessive strain on current communication networks. More importantly, telecom operators do not have direct access to the revenue generated through video content delivery and as a result they cannot use it to upgrade their infrastructure. Based on the above challenge, a number of novel business models have appeared to address this conundrum. Firstly, certain leading internet players have gone out of their way to create and operate access networks, e.g. Google Fiber, Google Loon Project and Facebook’s connectivity lab. The above examples are excellent use cases where the same entity could control both the content and the operation of the network. Looking towards a different direction, the broadcasters have been looking into joining forces with cellular providers to find efficient ways of distributing the content to the end users, e.g. LTE Broadcast. Finally, certain Over The Top streaming services such as Amazon Prime and NetFlix have started sponsoring broadband connectivity in commercial flights to provide their subscribers with ubiquitous access to video content. Following a different paradigm, major telecom operators have been building their own Content Delivery Networks (Telco CDNs) and in some cases have even joint forces with major network CDN players such as the Maldives operator with Google, and Orange with Akamai. CDNs aim serving content to end-users with high availability and high performance by using in-network or edge caching. The main benefit in Telco CDNs is that the operators have access both to the physical infrastructure and the network services and this allows for a higher degree of cross-optimization and efficiency.Based on the aforementioned examples, it becomes obvious that closer interaction between operators and content providers will be needed in order to optimize content delivery and overcome the projected bottleneck due to video traffic. In this context, ProCAST will be investigating how satellite-assisted caching can prevent video traffic from flooding current communication networks. Particularly, caching at the network edge can be instrumental in reducing the long dumb pipes that move repetitive information through the core network. More importantly, satellite networks will be used to optimize the backhaul capacity needed for caching. This is a key element since satellite networks can deliver the large amounts of information just with two hops to multiple edge nodes through broadcasting or multicasting. This will take the load off the multihop terrestrial backhaul networks which can be used to deliver the unicast broadband services that they were originally designed for.

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