5G Media Streaming in the BBC R&D standalone testbed
Richard Bradbury, David Waring, Dev Audsin, John Elliot and other colleagues at BBC R&D are involved in the development and implementation of 5G Media Streaming functions for delivering media services over mobile networks.
This video provides insight into the status of the 5G-MAG Reference Tools involved in the demonstration and the laboratory setup as of January 2023.
The BBC R&D signal processing lab in London has been building a 5G Standalone testbed to experiment with advanced features of the 5G system. We've built a cloud-based 5G Core and a 5G cloud RAN and we're using software-based radio technology to act as a 5G base station where off-the-shelf mobile handsets connect to.
Working as part of the 5G-MAG Reference Tools, we've also started developing reference implementations of 3GPP's Application Server and Application Function for 5G Media Streaming.
5G Media Streaming Application Function (5GMS AF) and Application Server (5GMS AS) in action
5G Media Streaming specifies a Media Session Handling network API that allows mobile applications to collaborate with the 5G network through a 5GMS Application Function. With the aim of improving the Quality of Experience (QoE), using this API handsets can request a different network Quality of Service (QoS) to satisfy the needs of a particular media streaming session. Applications can also request an estimate of the bitrate that the network can currently sustain and can request a short boost to help them replenish their buffers. Finally the mobile handset can report both media consumption and QoE metrics to the 5GMS Application Function to help it better understand what's going on in the network.
The first feature we have implemented is content hosting, where the 5GMS Application Server (5GMS AS) is configured to act as a CDN. To make this work an application provider first provisions a content hosting configuration in the 5GMS AF. The 5GMS AF then configures one or more 5GMS AS. These act as caching web proxies back to the content origin. Finally, the 5GMS AF returns Service Access Information to the application provider which it can pass privately to the 5GMS-Aware Application. This includes a media entry point URL pointing to, e.g. an MPEG-DASH MPD.