April 15, 2018

Challenges for Enabling Virtual Reality Broadcast Using 5G Small Cell Network

  • Navratil D.
  • Prasad A.
  • Saily M.
  • Uusitalo M.

In the recent past, with the ubiquitous adoption of smartphones and tablets, there has been an exponential increase in data rate demands which has increasingly challenging for network operators to support. This trend is expected to continue in future, with the advent of high-performance gaming and increasing appetite for immersive applications and social media experiences. Such factors have contributed to the development of the fifth generation (5G) of mobile networks, which would be supporting significantly higher data rates with improved reliability and latency. 5G has also enabled the deployment of wireless virtual reality applications, with wide-ranging use cases. In this work, we consider the key challenges for broadcasting such content to a large number of audience thereby enabling new disruptions in mass media consumption. The technology potential and practical constraints for such deployments were also evaluated using realistic network settings. Based on the performance evaluations, it was shown that with slightly higher system bandwidth requirements, VR broadcast can be supported under ideal conditions, using 5G millimeter wave small cell networks. Potential areas for future work in order to make VR broadcast a reality is also discussed.

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