A significant portion of today's network traffic is due to recurring downloads of a few popular contents. It has been observed that replicating the latter in caches installed at network edges—close to users—can drastically reduce network bandwidth usage and improve content access delay. Such caching architectures are gaining increasing interest in recent years as a way of dealing with the explosive traffic growth, fuelled further by the downward slope in storage space price. In this work, we provide an overview of caching with a particular emphasis on emerging network architectures that enable caching at the radio access network. In this context, novel challenges arise due to the broadcast nature of the wireless medium, which allows simultaneously serving multiple users tuned into a multicast stream, and the mobility of the users who may be frequently handed off from one cell tower to another. Existing results indicate that caching at the wireless edge has a great potential in removing bottlenecks on the wired backbone networks. Taking into consideration the schedule of multicast service and mobility profiles is crucial to extract maximum benefit in network performance.
One contribution of 14 to a discussion meeting issue ‘Communication networks beyond the capacity crunch’.
- Accepted August 23, 2015.
- © 2016 The Author(s)
Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.