Mar 31, 2020

What's Possible When Multicast and Cellular Collide

The internet truly is an information superhighway. Emails. Sales data. Inventory. Audio files. Software updates. Streaming video. Massive volumes of these and many other data types are sent and distributed online at lightning-fast speeds every minute of every day. Many of these items must arrive in multiple destinations at the same time. None of this is possible, however, without a means of distribution, one that can disseminate data efficiently, quickly and consistently.

How is this getting done?

While there are several ways in which to accomplish this, one of the more effective methods is with multicast. As opposed to unicast, where specific types of data must be sent the same number of times as there are users requesting the data, multicast is a much more sophisticated and efficient manner of data transmission where packets are sent once to as many recipients that ask for said data. So instead of one-to-one (as is the case with unicast) or one to all (broadcast), multicast data submission is one too many (i.e. point to multipoint) or many to many (i.e. multipoint to multipoint). In the internet of things era - where seemingly every handheld device, kitchen appliance and wearable gadget has smart capabilities - multicast helps to save on costs and preserve bandwidth.

Given that approximately 25 billion internet-connected devices are expected to be in use globally as soon as 2021, according to estimates from Gartner, it's highly likely that multicast will be further relied upon for the foreseeable future, perhaps much more so than unicast or broadcast in light of its intelligent customization capabilities.

Thanks to the unparalleled advancements in cellular technology, especially in terms of capacity, sending multicast traffic via cellular represents the next generation of data aggregation and dissemination, providing more impressive download speeds and reduced latency and wider delivery.

How does multicast work?

It's helpful to understand how multicast works when it comes to establishing data connection points. Broadcast transmission, which preceded multicast, sends data to all devices and computers that are a part of the network, whether they requested it or not. While this system does the job, it can lead to unnecessary bandwidth expenditure.

Multicast is a more tailored and expedient alternative to broadcast and unicast, as only intended recipients receive the packets. In short, in place of one to all (broadcast) or one-to-one (unicast), multicast is one too many.

For data packets to be sent and reach their destination seamlessly, a routing protocol is used so the information can be copied and replicated to as many recipients as requested the data, video, email or audio file. Replication is a key component to transmission so requests can be delivered concurrently instead of in the order of receipt. Internet Group Management Protocol helps to ensure that the host can accurately identify the recipients and that those recipients are properly registered, which also helps with recognition.

Delivering Multicast on Cellular

Unicast, broadcast and multicast all have their pluses and minuses. But for simultaneous delivery of data to an unfathomable number of recipients, multicasting via cellular is a highly reliable method.

When it comes to developing and deploying a multicast strategy for your network, turn to Ventus Global Network Solutions. Capable of integrating managed solutions seamlessly whether in corporate WAN, internet of things, Ethernet and Wi-Fi environments, Ventus can supercharge data delivery for deployment and scalability you can trust. Contact us to learn more about our Managed Network-as-a-Service solutions.