Performance Comparison of 3G and Metro-Scale WiFi for Vehicular Network Access

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Executive Summary

The authors perform a head-to-head comparison of the performance characteristics of a 3G network operated by a nation-wide provider and a metro-scale Wi-Fi network operated by a commercial ISP, from the perspective of vehicular network access. The experience shows that over a wide geographic region and under vehicular mobility, these networks exhibit very different throughput and coverage characteristics. Wi-Fi has frequent disconnections even in a commercially operated, metro-scale deployment; but when connected, indeed delivers high throughout even in a mobile scenario.

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