Skip to Main Content
Wireless networks are on the verge of a third phase of growth. The first phase was dominated by voice traffic, and the second phase, which we are currently in, is dominated by data traffic. In the third phase we predict that the traffic will be dominated by video and will require new ways to optimize the network to prevent saturation. This increase in video traffic is one of the key drivers of the evolution to new mobile broadband standards like WiMAX IEEE 802.16m and 3G LTE and LTE-Advanced, motivating the need to enhance the video service capabilities of future cellular and mobile broadband systems. Therefore, it is important to understand both the potential and limitations of these networks for delivering video content in the future, which will include not only traditional video broadcasts, but also video streaming and uploading in the uplink direction. In that vein this article provides an overview of technology options for enabling multicast and unicast video services over WiMAX and LTE networks, quantifies and compares the video capacities of these networks in realistic environments, and discusses new techniques that could be exploited in the future to further enhance the video capacity and quality of user experience.
Date of Publication: August 2010