Experience: Implications Of Roaming In Europe

Authors:
Anna Maria Mandalari University Carlos III of Madrid
Andra Lutu Telefonica Research, Simula Research Laboratory
Ana Custura University of Aberdeen
Ali Safari Politecnico di Torino
Ozgu Alay Simula Research Laboratory
Marcelo Bagnulo University Carlos III of Madrid
Vaibhav Bajpai Technische Universität München
Anna Brunstrom Karlstad Universitet
Joerg Ott Technische Universität München
Marco Mellia Politecnico di Torino
Gorry Fairhurst University of Aberdeen

Introduction:

“Roam like Home” is the initiative of the European Commission (EC) to end the levy of extra charges when roaming within the European region. This paper provides an in-depth characterization of the implications of international data roaming within Europe.

Abstract:

“Roam like Home” is the initiative of the European Commission (EC) to end the levy of extra charges when roaming within the European region. As a result, people are able to use data services more freely across Europe. However, the implications roaming solutions have on performance have not been carefully examined. This paper provides an in-depth characterization of the implications of international data roaming within Europe. We build a unique roaming measurement platform using 16 diferent mobile networks deployed in six countries across Europe. Using this platform, we measure diferent aspects of international roaming in 3G and 4G networks, including mobile network configuration, performance characteristics, and content discrimination. We find that operators adopt common approaches to implementing roaming, resulting in additional latency penalties of ∼60 ms or more, depending on geographical distance. Considering content accessibility, roaming poses additional constraints that leads to only minimal deviations when accessing content in the original country. However, geographical restrictions in the visited country make the picture more complicated and less intuitive.

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