Mobility

Understanding Bufferbloat in Cellular Networks

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Executive Summary

Bufferbloat is a prevalent problem in the Internet where excessive buffers incur long latency, substantial jitter and sub-optimal throughput. This paper provides the first elaborative understanding of bufferbloat in cellular networks. The authors carry out extensive measurements in the 3G/4G networks of the four major U.S. carriers to gauge the impact of bufferbloat in the field. Due to the bufferbloat problem, several pitfalls of current TCP protocols have been proposed in this paper. They also discover a trick employed by smart phone vendors to mitigate the issue and point out the limitations of such ad-hoc solutions. Their measurement study is coupled with theoretical analysis using queuing models.

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