A nationwide study on cellular reliability: Measurement, analysis, and enhancements

Yang Li, Hao Lin, Zhenhua Li, Yunhao Liu, Feng Qian, Liangyi Gong, Xianlong Xin, Tianyin Xu

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

Abstract

With recent advances on cellular technologies (such as 5G) that push the boundary of cellular performance, cellular reliability has become a key concern of cellular technology adoption and deployment. However, this fundamental concern has never been addressed due to the challenges of measuring cellular reliability on mobile devices and the cost of conducting large-scale measurements. This paper closes the knowledge gap by presenting the first large-scale, in-depth study on cellular reliability with more than 70 million Android phones across 34 different hardware models. Our study identifies the critical factors that affect cellular reliability and clears up misleading intuitions indicated by common wisdom. In particular, our study pinpoints that software reliability defects are among the main root causes of cellular data connection failures. Our work provides actionable insights for improving cellular reliability at scale. More importantly, we have built on our insights to develop enhancements that effectively address cellular reliability issues with remarkable real-world impact - -our optimizations on Android's cellular implementations have effectively reduced 40% cellular connection failures for 5G phones and 36% failure duration across all phones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSIGCOMM 2021 - Proceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM 2021 Conference
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages597-609
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781450383837
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 9 2021
Event2021 Annual Conference of the ACM Special Interest Group on Data Communication on the Applications, SIGCOMM 2021 - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: Aug 23 2021Aug 27 2021

Publication series

NameSIGCOMM 2021 - Proceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM 2021 Conference

Conference

Conference2021 Annual Conference of the ACM Special Interest Group on Data Communication on the Applications, SIGCOMM 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online
Period8/23/218/27/21

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We appreciate Wenli Shi, Junjie Hou, Rongyan Sun and Daliang Sun for their help in data collection and analysis. We sincerely thank the anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments, and our shepherd Lili Qiu for guiding us through the revision process. This work is supported in part by the National Key R&D Program of China under grant 2018YFB1004700, as well as the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) under grants 61822205, 61632020, 61632013 and 61902211.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 ACM.

Keywords

  • 5G network
  • cellular connection management
  • cellular network
  • mobile operating system
  • reliability measurement

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