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Mobile Access Bandwidth in Practice:
Measurement, Analysis, and Implications

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Data Release

Implementation of Cross-Layer and Cross-Technology Measurement Tool

Implementation of New Bandwidth Testing Service (Swiftest)

Introduction

Our study focuses on characterizing mobile access bandwidth in the wild. We work with a major commercial mobile bandwidth testing (BTS) app to analyze mobile access bandwidths of 3.54M end users based on fine-grained measurement and diagnostic information collected by our cross-layer and cross-technology measurement tool. Besides, our analysis provides insights on building an ultra-fast, ultra-light bandwidth testing service (BTS) called Swiftest at scale. Swiftest dramatically reduces the test time of the commercial BTS app from 10 $sec$ to 1 $sec$ on average, with a 15$\times$ reduction on the backend cost. This repository contains our implementation of the cross-layer and cross-technology measurement tool, our released data, and our implementation of Swiftest.

Data Release

The involved data include

1) a four-month fine-grained dataset (collected by us),

2) a two-year coarse-grained dataset (provided by BTS-APP operation team).

Currently, we have released a portion of the representative sample data (with proper anonymization) belonging to the former dataset for references, including the fine-grained collected data of 50K tests in 4G, 5G, and WiFi 4, 5, 6 access technologies (10K tests each). These data are organized in 4G.csv, 5G.csv, wifi4.csv, wifi5.csv, and wifi6.csv, respectively (for detailed data, please click here). For each CSV file, we list the specific information coupled with the regarding description as follows. As to the remainder, we are still in discussion with the authority to what extend can it be released.

4G.csv

Column Name Description
user_uid Unique ID generated to identify a user (cannot be related to the user’s true indentity)
brand Mobile device brand
model Mobile device model
network_type Network type
os_version Android version
user_isp_id ISP id
user_region_id Region (province) of a user
user_city_id City of a user
bandwidth_Mbps Bandwidth testing result in Mbps
cell_asuLevel LTE signal strength in ASU value
cell_dbm LTE signal strength in dBm
cell_level Abstract level value for the overall signal quality
cell_mcc 3-digit mobile country code
cell_mnc 2 or 3-digit mobile network code
cell_mobileNetworkOperator 5 or 6-digit code (MCC+MNC) for mobile network operator
cell_rssi Received signal strength indication (RSSI) in dBm
cell_timingAdvance Timing advance value for LTE
cell_bands Bands of the LTE connection
cell_bandwidth Cell bandwidth in kHz
cell_ci 28-bit cell identity code
cell_earfcn 18-bit absolute radio frequency channel node
cell_tac 16-bit Tracking Area Code
cell_rsrp Reference signal received power in dBm
cell_rsrq Reference signal received quality
cell_rssnr Reference signal signal-to-noise ratio

5G.csv

Information Description
user_uid Unique ID generated to identify a user (cannot be related to the user’s true indentity)
brand Mobile device brand
model Mobile device model
network_type Network type
os_version Android version
user_isp_id ISP id
user_region_id Region (province) of a user
user_city_id City of a user
bandwidth_Mbps Bandwidth testing result in Mbps
cell_asuLevel LTE signal strength in ASU value
cell_dbm LTE signal strength in dBm
cell_level Abstract level value for the overall signal quality
cell_mcc 3-digit mobile country code
cell_mnc 2 or 3-digit mobile network code
cell_bands Bands of the LTE connection
cell_tac 16-bit Tracking Area Code
cell_nrarfcn New radio absolute radio frequency channel number
cell_csiRsrp CSI reference signal received power
cell_csiRsrq CSI reference signal received quality
cell_ssRsrp SS reference signal received power
cell_ssRsrq SS reference signal received quality
cell_ssSinr SS signal-to-noise and interference ratio

wifi4/wifi5/wifi6.csv

Information Description
user_uid Unique ID of a user (cannot be related to the user’s true indentity)
brand Mobile device brand
model Mobile device model
network_type Network type
os_version Android version
user_isp_id ISP id
user_region_id Region (province) of a user
user_city_id City of a user
bandwidth_Mbps Bandwidth testing result in Mbps
wifi_rssi The received signal strength indicator of the current 802.11 network in dBm
wifi_linkSpeed Current link speed
wifi_hiddenSSID Whether this network does not broadcast its SSID
wifi_frequency Current WiFi frequency in MHz
wifi_rxLinkSpeedMbps Current receive link speed in Mbps
wifi_txLinkSpeedMbps Current transmit link speed in Mbps
wifi_maxSupportedRxLinkSpeedMbps Maximum supported receive link speed in Mbps
wifi_maxSupportedTxLinkSpeedMbps Maximum supported transmit link speed in Mbps
wifi_wifiStandard Connection Wi-Fi standard

Implementation of Cross-Layer and Cross-Technology Measurement Tool

We have released the project of our cross-layer and cross-technology (CLCT) measurement tool here. Note that this project can be directly compiled and run using the Android Studio platform with the support of Java SE Development Kit 8.

Implementation of New Bandwidth Testing Service (Swiftest)

Currently we are scrutinizing the codebase to avoid possible anonymity violation. To this end, we will release Swiftest’s source code in a module-by-module manner as soon as we have finished examining a module and acquire its release permission from the authority. The codebase of Swiftest is organized as follows.

Swiftest
|---- client-side
|---- server-side
          |---- test-server
          |---- master-server

The released part can be found here.