Date of Graduation

12-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Computer Engineering (MSCmpE)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Computer Science & Computer Engineering

Advisor

Nilanjan Banerjee

Committee Member

Craig W. Thompson

Second Committee Member

Dale R. Thompson

Third Committee Member

Wing-Ning Li

Abstract

The growing number of mobile phone users is a primary cause of congestion in cellular networks. Therefore, cellular network providers have turned to expensive and differentiated data plans. Unfortunately, as the number of smartphone users keeps increasing, changing data plans only provides a temporary solution. A more permanent solution is offloading 3G traffic to networks in orthogonal frequency bands. One such plausible network is open Wi-Fi, which is free by definition. As Wi-Fi networks become ubiquitous, there are several areas where there is simultaneous Wi-Fi and 3G coverage. In this thesis, we study the feasibility of offloading 3G traffic to Wi-Fi networks. First, we design a custom tool for the Android phone, which helps us collect data on CPU usage, GPS coordinates, applications running on the platform, and traffic generated by the smartphone. With the help of initial data collected from the tool, we quantify the amount and characteristics of traffic that users generate from smartphones. Next, using the data we show that at several locations offloading a considerable amount of data is possible from 3G to Wi-Fi. Our study can lead to the design of multiradio systems that prevent traffic overload on 3G networks.

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