Mobility

A Comparative Study of Handheld and Non-Handheld Traffic in Campus Wi-Fi Networks

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Executive Summary

Handheld devices such as smartphones have become a major platform for accessing Internet services. The small, mobile nature of these devices results in a unique mix of network usage. Other studies have used Wi-Fi and 3G wireless traces to analyze session, mobility, and performance characteristics for handheld devices. The authors complement these studies through the unique study of the differences in the content and flow characteristics of handheld versus non-handheld traffic. They analyze packet traces from two separate campus wireless networks, with 3 days of traffic for 32,278 unique devices. Trends for handhelds include low UDP usage, high volumes of HTTP traffic, and a greater proportion of video traffic. The observations can inform network management and mobile system design.

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