Ericsson, Cisco see Wi-Fi Multicast as a complement to LTE Multicast

LTE Multicast (also known as LTE Broadcast) is getting lots of attention from vendors and mobile operators for its ability to deliver live multimedia to smartphones and tablets being used by concentrated groups of people, such as those attending a sporting event or concert. And while numerous operators are laying out plans to deploy LTE Multicast, a complementary technology--Wi-Fi Multicast--has already been deployed by venue owners and is being considered by both mobile operators and cable MSOs.

In August, the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) reported that LTE Multicast has attracted the attention of at least 16 mobile network operators, which are trialing or deploying the technology. Whereas LTE Multicast, based on the evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (eMBMS) standard, is in the early stages of being rolled out, Wi-Fi Multicast has been around for years in office WLAN environments. Its use has since been broadened to include public Wi-Fi entertainment platforms. Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) and Cisco Systems have been two key proponents of the technology. For more on how Wi-Fi Multicast is being used, check out this FierceWirelessTech special report.