A nationwide study on cellular reliability: measurement, analysis, and enhancements [conference paper]
ACM Special Interest Group on Data Communication (SIGCOMM) Conference - August 23-27, 2021
Yang Li, Hao Lin, Zhenhua Li, Yunhao Liu, Feng Qian (associate professor), Liangyi Gong, Xianlong Xin, Tianyin Xu
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.
Link to full paper
mobile networking, 5G