Understanding mobile network quality and infrastructure with user-side measurements
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Measurement collection is a primary step towards analyzing and optimizing performance of a telecommunication service. With an Mobile Broadband (MBB) network, the measurement process has not only to track the network’s Quality of Service (QoS) features but also to asses a user’s perspective about its service performance. The later requirement leads to “user-side measurements” which assist in discovery of performance issues that makes a user of a service unsatisfied and finally switch to another network. User-side measurements also serve as first-hand survey of the problem domain. In this thesis, we exhibit the potential in the measurements collected at network edge by considering two well-known approaches namely crowdsourced and distributed testbed-based measurements. Primary focus is on exploiting crowdsourced measurements while dealing with the challenges associated with it. These challenges consist of differences in sampling densities at different parts of the region, skewed and non-uniform measurement layouts, inaccuracy in sampling locations, differences in RSS readings due to device-diversity and other non-ideal measurement sampling characteristics. In presence of heterogeneous characteristics of the user-side measurements we propose how to accurately detect mobile coverage holes, to devise sample selection process so to generate a reliable radio map with reduced sample cost, and to identify cellular infrastructure at places where the information is not public. Finally, the thesis unveils potential of a distributed measurement test-bed in retrieving performance features from domains including user’s context, service content and network features, and understanding impact from these features upon the MBB service at the application layer. By taking web-browsing as a case study, it further presents an objective web-browsing Quality of Experience (QoE) model.