Mobile access bandwidth in practice: Measurement, analysis, and implications

Xinlei Yang, Hao Lin, Zhenhua Li, Feng Qian, Xingyao Li, Zhiming He, Xudong Wu, Xianlong Wang, Yunhao Liu, Zhi Liao, Daqiang Hu, Tianyin Xu

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

16 Scopus citations


Recent advances in mobile technologies such as 5G and WiFi 6E do not seem to deliver the promised mobile access bandwidth. To effectively characterize mobile access bandwidth in the wild, we work with a major commercial mobile bandwidth testing app to analyze mobile access bandwidths of 3.54M end users in China, based on fine-grained measurement and diagnostic information. Our analysis presents a surprising and frustrating fact-in the past two years, the average WiFi bandwidth remains largely unchanged, while the average 4G/5G bandwidth decreases remarkably. Our analysis further reveals the root causes-The bottlenecks in the underlying infrastructure (e.g., devices and wired Internet access) and side effects of aggressively migrating radio resources from 4G to 5G-with implications on closing the technology gaps. Additionally, our analysis provides insights on building ultra-fast, ultra-light bandwidth testing services (BTSes) at scale. Our new design dramatically reduces the test time of the commercial BTS from 10 seconds to 1 second on average, with a 15× reduction on the backend cost.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSIGCOMM 2022 - Proceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM 2022 Conference
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781450394208
StatePublished - Aug 22 2022
Event2022 Conference of the ACM Special Interest Group on Data Communication, SIGCOMM 2022 - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: Aug 22 2022Aug 26 2022

Publication series

NameSIGCOMM 2022 - Proceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM 2022 Conference


Conference2022 Conference of the ACM Special Interest Group on Data Communication, SIGCOMM 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We appreciate Li Ma and Guangbiao Liu for their help in data collection and system deployment. We sincerely thank our shepherd Jia Wang and the anonymous reviewers for their valuable feedbacks and constructive suggestions. We also appreciate Jiaxing Qiu, Wei Liu, Yang Li, and Jianwei Zheng for their help in improving the presentation of this paper. This work is supported in part by the National Key R&D Program of China under grant 2021YFB2900100, the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) under grant 61902211, and Microsoft Research Asia.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Owner/Author.


  • LTE/5G network
  • access bandwidth
  • bandwidth testing
  • mobile network
  • wifi network


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