In this paper, we propose a bandwidth-efficient multicast mechanism for heterogeneous wireless networks. We reduce the bandwidth cost of an Internet Protocol (IP) multicast tree by adaptively selecting the cell and the wireless technology for each mobile host to join the multicast group. Our mechanism enables more mobile hosts to cluster together and leads to the use of fewer cells to save the scarce wireless bandwidth. Besides, the paths in the multicast tree connecting to the selected cells share more common links to save the wireline bandwidth. Our mechanism supports the dynamic group membership and offers mobility of group members. Moreover, our mechanism requires no modification to the current IP multicast routing protocols. We formulate the selection of the cell and the wireless technology for each mobile host in the heterogeneous wireless networks as an optimization problem. We use Integer Linear Programming to model the problem and show that the problem is NP-hard. To solve the problem, we propose a distributed algorithm based on Lagrangean relaxation and a network protocol based on the algorithm. The simulation results show that our mechanism can effectively save the wireless and wireline bandwidth as compared to the traditional IP multicast.

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