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In multicast/broadcast services over infrastructure-based/ cellular wireless networks (e.g. 3G cellular networks, WiMax, DVB), data is transmitted to multiple recipients from an access point/base station. Multicast greatly improves the network efficiency to distribute data to multiple recipients as compared to multiple unicast sessions of the same data to each receiver individually, by taking advantage of the shared nature of the wireless medium. However it is difficult to guarantee the reception reliability of multiple multicast/broadcast recipients because the wireless medium is error prone and each receiver experiences different channel conditions. An additional difficulty is that multicast/ broadcast services in many networks such as 3G multimedia multicast services do not provide a reverse communications channel for the receivers to request the retransmission of lost data packets.
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