On Effectively Exploiting Multiple Wireless Interfaces in Mobile Hosts

Cheng-Lin Tsao and Raghupathy Sivakumar
GNAN Research Group
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology

The 5th ACM International Conference on Emerging Networking Experiments and Technologies (CoNEXT 2009), Rome, Italy, December 1-4, 2009.


Most mobile devices today are equipped with multiple and heterogeneous wireless interfaces. In this paper we ask the following question: what is the best approach to leverage the multiple interfaces available at a mobile device in terms of the performance delivered to the user? In answering the question we argue that simple "bandwidth aggregation" approaches do not provide any meaningful beneffits when the multiple interfaces used have highly disparate bandwidths as is true in many practical environments. We then present super-aggregation, a set of mechanisms that in tandem use the multiple interfaces intelligently and in the process is able to achieve a performance that is better than "the sum of throughputs" achievable through each of the interfaces individually. We prototype super-aggregation on both a laptop and the Google Android mobile phone and demonstrate the significant (up to 3x throughput) performance improvements it provides in real-world experiments.

Presentation: [pdf (756KB)]      Full Paper: [pdf (612KB)]