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Cellular networks employ a specific radio resource management policy distinguishing them from wired and Wi-Fi networks. A lack of awareness of this important mechanism potentially leads to resource-inefficient mobile applications. The authors perform the first network-wide, large-scale investigation of a particular type of application traffic pattern called periodic transfers where a handset periodically exchanges some data with a remote server every t seconds. Using packet traces containing 1.5 billion packets collected from a commercial cellular carrier, they found that periodic transfers are very prevalent in today's smartphone traffic.
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