A close examination of performance and power characteristics of 4G LTE networks

Junxian Huang, Feng Qian, Alexandre Gerber, Z. Morley Mao, Subhabrata Sen, Oliver Spatscheck

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

684 Scopus citations

Abstract

With the recent advent of 4G LTE networks, there has been increasing interest to better understand the performance and power characteristics, compared with 3G/WiFi networks. In this paper, we take one of the first steps in this direction. Using a publicly deployed tool we designed for Android called 4GTest attracting more than 3000 users within 2 months and extensive local experiments, we study the network performance of LTE networks and compare with other types of mobile networks. We observe LTE generally has significantly higher downlink and uplink throughput than 3G and even WiFi, with a median value of 13Mbps and 6Mbps, respectively. We develop the first empirically derived comprehensive power model of a commercial LTE network with less than 6% error rate and state transitions matching the specifications. Using a comprehensive data set consisting of 5-month traces of 20 smartphone users, we carefully investigate the energy usage in 3G, LTE, and WiFi networks and evaluate the impact of configuring LTE-related parameters. Despite several new power saving improvements, we find that LTE is as much as 23 times less power efficient compared with WiFi, and even less power efficient than 3G, based on the user traces and the long high power tail is found to be a key contributor. In addition, we perform case studies of several popular applications on Android in LTE and identify that the performance bottleneck for web-based applications lies less in the network, compared to our previous study in 3G [24]. Instead, the device's processing power, despite the significant improvement compared to our analysis two years ago, becomes more of a bottleneck.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMobiSys'12 - Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services
Pages225-238
Number of pages14
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event10th International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services, MobiSys'12 - Low Wood Bay, Lake District, United Kingdom
Duration: Jun 25 2012Jun 29 2012

Publication series

NameMobiSys'12 - Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services

Other

Other10th International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services, MobiSys'12
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityLow Wood Bay, Lake District
Period6/25/126/29/12

Keywords

  • 3g
  • 4g
  • 4gtest
  • energy saving
  • lte
  • network model simulation
  • power model simulation

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