Multimedia Broadcast/Multicast Service (MBMS)
The MBMS service is a point-to-multipoint service provided by 3GPP systems including E-UTRAN, UTRAN, and GERAN. The MBMS provides user data from a single network entity to multiple UEs. MBMS services are transmitted on the same carrier frequencies used by mobile operators to transmit normal services such as voice calls and the Internet. Operators can provide various types of services as MBMS services, for example, TV broadcasting, message distribution, and file downloading. When it comes to TV broadcasting, the MBMS offers an opportunity for mobile operators to be able to provide TV broadcasting services to users without buying frequency bands licensed for TV broadcasting.
The MBMS is supported from Release 9 in E-UTRAN. 3GPP started standard work on MBMS over E-UTRAN for Release 8, but it was finally specified in Release 9 due to lack of time during the discussions for Release 8. The MBMS in E-UTRAN is also known as the eMBMS (Evolved MBMS).
Only basic operations of the MBMS were specified in Release 9, compared to what are specified in UTRAN. For example, no uplink message related to MBMS is defined in Release 9. MBMS features have been enhanced in Release 10 and Release 11. Enhancements to the MBMS after Release 9 are described in Section 11.6.
11.1 MBMS Services
Within 3GPP systems, operators can provide MBMS user services, which are defined as MBMS services provided to end-users. The MBMS user service supports various ...