A New Era of Mobile Networking
5G is the next evolution of mobile networks. It is touted to have Gigabit download speeds and more importantly, sub-10ms latency (compared to 40-100 ms for 4G LTE). The latency reduction is essential for higher quality real-time communication, and thus our goal for this project is to investigate 5G, as well as current 4G LTE networks, and design a real-time bandwidth estimation protocol. We also developed a proof of concept Android application that implements the protocol as well as a real-time interactive feature.
Unlike the wired internet, cellular networks have the ability to build up large queues of packets if a host overutilizes capacity. This necessitates a proactive rather than a reactive strategy.A summary of how our protocol works as follows:
- Adds header to each packet with sending rate
- Server continuously measures the actual received rate
- If discrepancy appears, server sends feedback and sender backs off
- Periodically bunches a group of packets and sends at higher rate
- If higher rate is detected increases rate of sender
Our protocol was able to effectively achieve satisfactory bandwidth, while also seldom incurring latency penalties. See presentation for more details.
Visual Representation Of Our Protocol
In order to demonstrate the protocol, we developed a proof of concept Android app, which can be downloaded above. The app can run our protocol with a known server, and can be configured with different parameters. The bandwidth of both the upload and download link is displayed in a live graph.
To provide a tangible indication of latency, an additional layer of interactivity is also present. The user can move an object around the screen, and the app displays the object's position both when the phone registers a touch and after sending the coordinates to the server and back.