Cellular Data Network Infrastructure Characterization and Implication on Mobile Content Placement

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Executive Summary

Despite the tremendous growth in the cellular data network usage due to the popularity of smartphones, so far there is rather limited understanding of the network infrastructure of various cellular carriers. Understanding the infrastructure characteristics such as the network topology, routing design, address allocation, and DNS service configuration is essential for predicting, diagnosing, and improving cellular network services, as well as for delivering content to the growing population of mobile wireless users. In this paper, the authors propose a novel approach for discovering cellular infrastructure by intelligently combining several data sources, i.e., server logs from a popular location search application, active measurements results collected from smartphone users, DNS request logs from a DNS authoritative server, and publicly available routing updates.

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