The increase in the popularity of mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones, coupled with increase in popularity of the wireless internet has led to an increase in demand for rich media experience. The trend has also led to increase in mobile traffic, majority of it being video data. However, the use of mobile video is associated with some challenges. First, mobile devices have limited on-board resources for coding of intense media and processing tasks. Secondly, the wireless channel is unreliable and time varying, limiting the bandwidth for communication between the mobile devices and content delivery systems working in the backend. There is a greater need for us to balance between the increasing demand for mobile media applications and the weaknesses of the available media delivery networks.
The design of the mobile media network is determined by the trade-off between the quality of service (Qos) and cost. The initial cost of setting up the mobile media network and the subsequent maintenance costs should be kept as low as possible. If the cost too much, it will be equivalent to the price of the service, and this will negatively affect how the mobile media penetrates or is adapted by the end users. Also, the quality of service has to be kept high as this is what the end users will need to be provided with so that they can be happy with what they pay for. For this balance to happen, new ideas and emerging trends have to be embraced.
Recently, the cloud computing technology has introduced mechanisms for reducing the cost of deploying a mobile media network. In a cloud computing environment, the system resources can be allocated in a dynamic manner so that the elastic demand of the application can be met in a real-time manner. The cloud-computing paradigm has began to enhance the experience of mobile media, and this is where the cloud mobile media has resulted from.
However, the concept of cloud mobile media has introduced new challenges. An example of such a challenge is that the cloud computing platforms are usually built on the off-the-shelf platform whose performance and reliability cannot be said to be good. Also, the cloud leads to concerns regarding security and privacy of data. However, most of these challenges are as a result of dealing with data in mobile.
The following are some of the technical challenges facing the cloud mobile media network:
- Scalability- the system should be in a position to handle many users, devices and a large content.
- Heterogeneity- the content which can be supported should be of a diverse format, while the users should possess diverse preferences, and the devices should be of diverse forms.
- Reliability- failures do occur with systems. There is a need for the system to be designed in a redundant form so that services may be offered even after failures have occurred. Even when the unreliable wireless channels develop issues, the system should continue offering services to the end users.
- Usability- the system should be designed so as to support the various users using the various forms of technology. The user interface should be easy to learn, intuitive, and made to suit mobile devices having limited interactive options.
- Security- privacy and management of digital rights privacy are a serious challenge in cloud mobile media solutions.
The design of the cloud mobile media should be done in such a way that it will meet the increasing demands of the users. However, the problem is that there are limited resources for implementation of this. However, mechanisms have been implemented for solving such problems. Mobile cloud edge can help you in connecting the mobile devices which are resource-constrained to the cloud infrastructure which is rich in resources. Examples of these include WIFI access points, base stations and some other wireless edge devices.