With the advent of the next-generation networks (NGN) and the new technologies in the field of cloud computing, both individuals and enterprises are enjoying a great variety of networking and computing services with higher quality and lower cost than before. In this research, we identify that the concepts of NGN and cloud computing can be combined to create innovative services. Specifically, the distinguishing feature of NGN – services and underlying transport networks are unbundled – opens a new window for researchers to develop innovative cloud services in NGN. Accordingly, we demonstrate the concept of Communications-as-a-Service (CaaS) in cloud computing by proposing an Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) distribution platform as a CaaS service. In this sense, enterprises wishing to become an IPTV service provider can lease the CaaS service and start their business with minimal upfront cost. Furthermore, we propose a network-based multicast IPTV audience measurement scheme as an add-on feature for the CaaS service. Compared with measurement schemes that collect data from the set-top boxes directly, the network-based scheme not only scales well when the audience is large, but also better preserves subscriber privacy. Besides, this scheme is truly NGN-conformant because the audience measurement is conducted inside the transport network, not in the IPTV service itself. We believe that our work may shed some light on the research of creating more innovative cloud-based NGN services in the future.
網際網路技術學刊=Journal of Internet Technology 15(4)，頁565-576