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Point-to-multipoint communication

(also P2MP, PTMP, PMP)

Point-to-multipoint communication definition

Point-to-multipoint (P2MP) communication is a way for one device (point) to send information to multiple other devices (multipoint) all at once over a shared channel. It minimizes the sender's workload because they only need to send one message, even if there are many recipients. This makes it an efficient way to distribute information. Unlike point-to-point communication, where each connection requires a dedicated channel, P2MP communication shares a single communication channel.

See also: wireless bridge, point-to-point protocol

Here are some examples of using point-to-multipoint communication:

  • Television broadcasting. When a TV station broadcasts a program, it simultaneously sends the signal to all the TVs in its coverage area.
  • Emergency alerts. Government agencies can use point-to-multipoint technology to send emergency alerts, like severe weather warnings or Amber Alerts, to all mobile phones in a specific region.
  • Live streaming. When someone is live-streaming on platforms like YouTube or TikTok, that is also using point-to-multipoint communication. The video feed is sent from one source to potentially thousands or millions of viewers in real time.
  • Software updates. Developers can simultaneously distribute updates or patches to all software users, ensuring everyone has the latest version.