By Gerd Altmann

On the Analysis of QoE in Cellular Networks: from Subjective Tests to Large-scale Traffic Measurements


Mobile devices such as smartphones are taking over traditional devices for Internet access in today’s scenario, and the near future forecast is overwhelming: by 2016, a quarter of the world population will be using smartphones to access the Internet. In this context, understanding the Quality of Experience (QoE) of popular services in mobile devices becomes paramount for cellular network operators, who need to offer high quality levels to reduce the risks of customers churning for quality dissatisfaction. In this paper we study the problem of QoE provisioning in mobile devices, presenting the results obtained from subjective lab tests performed for popular end-user services accessed through smartphones. Our analysis addresses the impact of access downlink bandwidth on the QoE of four different popular services and mobile apps: Facebook, Web browsing through Chrome, Google Maps, and WhatsApp. The study also considers the characterization of WhatsApp QoE in a real setting, mapping the lab results to large-scale measurements conducted in a major cellular network. The results presented in this paper provide a sound basis for better understanding the QoE requirements of popular services and mobile apps, as well as for dimensioning the underlying provisioning network. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper combining QoE lab-test results for mobile devices with large-scale measurements in an operational cellular network

In proceedings of IWCMC’15 / TRAC, Dubrovnik, Croatia.