Is two greater than one?: Analyzing Multipath TCP over Dual-LTE in the Wild

Research paper by Nitinder Mohan, Tanya Shreedhar, Aleksandr Zavodovski, Jussi Kangasharju, Sanjit K. Kaul

Indexed on: 04 Nov '20Published on: 05 Sep '19Published in: arXiv - Computer Science - Networking and Internet Architecture


Multipath TCP (MPTCP) is a standardized TCP extension which allows end-hosts to simultaneously exploit all of their network interfaces. The recent proliferation of dual-SIM mobile phones makes multi-LTE MPTCP setup an attractive option. We perform extensive measurements of MPTCP over two LTE connections in low and high-speed mobility scenarios over five months, both in controlled and in-the-wild environments. Our findings indicate that MPTCP performance decreases at high speeds due to increased frequency of signal strength drops and handovers. Both LTE paths experience frequent changes which result in a sub-optimal subflow utilization. We also find that while path changes are unpredictable, their impact on MPTCP follows a deterministic trend. Finally, we show that both application traffic patterns and congestion control variants impact MPTCP adaptability at high speeds.