This thesis addresses the problem of optimizing network resource usage, for the delivery of Group Services, in Next Generation Networks featuring broadcast technologies. In this scope, proposals are made according to the expected evolution of 3G networks into Next Generation Heterogeneous Networks that include broadcast technologies such as DVB. Group Communication resource optimization is considered a vertical challenge that must cross several layers. The optimizations here proposed cover both Application to Service Platform interfaces for group communication services, and Core Network to Radio Access Network interface abstractions and mappings.
The proposed optimizations are also presented taking into consideration network evolution path towards an All-IP based Next Generation Network. First it is addressed the Application to Service Platform optimization, which can already be deployed over 3G networks. This optimization could potentiate the development of new and innovative applications that through the use of broadcast/multicast service delivery mechanisms could be more efficient network wise. Next proposals are made on the Core Network to Radio Access Network interfaces that address the heterogeneity of future networks and consider the need to support broadcast networks. It is also considered the possibility to increase the Quality of Service of broadcast/multicast services based on the dynamic mapping of IP multicast into unicast radio bearers. In order to validate these optimizations, several prototypes were built based on an advanced access router for next generation networks. Such access router functionalities and software architecture are also presented here.