On Application-Perceived Quality of Service in Wireless Networks

University dissertation from Karlskrona : Blekinge Institute of Technology

Abstract: Wireless and Mobile Internet have changed the way people and businesses operate. Communication from any Internet access point, including wireless networks such as UMTS, GPRS or WLAN has enabled organizations to have a mobile workforce. However, networked applications such as web, email, streaming multimedia etc. rely upon the ability of timely data delivery. The achievable throughput is a quality measure for the very task of a communication system, which is to transport data in time. Throughput is thus one of the most essential enablers for networked applications. While in general, throughput is defined on network or transport level, the application-perceived throughput reflects the Quality of Service from the viewpoints of the application and user. The focus of the thesis is on the influence of the network on the applicationperceived Quality of Service and thus the user perceived experience. An analysis of application based active measurements mimicking the needs of streaming applications is presented. The results reveal clear influence of the network on the application-perceived Quality of Service seen from variations of application-perceived throughput on small time scales. Results also indicate that applications have to cope with considerably large jitter when trying to use the nominal throughputs. It was observed that the GPRS network had considerable problems in delivering packets in the downstream direction even when the nominal capacity of the link was not reached. Finally, the thesis discusses the suitability of wireless networks for different mobile services, since the influence of the network on the application-perceived Quality of Service is of great significance when it comes to customer satisfaction. Therefore, application-perceived Quality of Service in wireless networks must also be considered by the mobile application programmer during the application development.