Mobile broadband (MBB) networks underpin a lot of vital operations of the modern society and are arguably becoming the most important piece of the modern communications infrastructure in the world. The immense popularity of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, combined with the availability of high-capacity 3G and 4G mobile networks, has radically changed the way most people access and use the Internet. Given the importance of MBB networks, there is a strong need for objective information about their performance, particularly, the quality experienced by the end user. Such information is very valuable for many parties including operators, regulators and policy makers, consumers and society at large, businesses whose services depend on MBB networks, researchers and innovators. MONROE proposes to design and operate the first European transnational open platform for independent, multi-homed, large-scale monitoring and assessment of performance of MBB networks in heterogeneous environments.
How does it work?
MONROE will build a dedicated infrastructure for measuring and experimenting in MBB and WiFi networks, comprising both fixed and mobile nodes distributed over Norway, Sweden, Spain and Italy. The mobile nodes will be placed on trains, busses and trucks, and they will play a key role to understand the MBB performance under mobility. The MONROE nodes will be designed such that they will be flexible and powerful enough to run most measurement and experiments tasks, including demanding applications like adaptive video streaming. MONROE will design experiments that measure the characteristics of MBB networks both in terms of performance and reliability. Furthermore, MONROE will allow experimenting novel services and applications on MBB networks. All nodes will be connected to three MBB providers, and often also to WiFi. This makes MONROE particularly well suited for experimentation with methods that exploit multiple links. In addition to information about network, time and location for experiments, MONROE nodes will have built-in support for collecting metadata from the externally connected modems such as cell ID, signal strength, connection mode etc. The measurement results along with metadata will be provided as OPEN DATA in regular intervals. MONROE will make it easy to access the system and deploy experiments on all or a selected subset of the nodes. The user access and experiment management system will be adapted from FED4FIRE project to make MONROE compliant with all other FIRE facilities.
The main objectives of MONROE are:
- To build an open and large-scale measurement and experimental platform, targeting MBB and WiFi networks, distributed over multiple European countries, with multi-homing capabilities.
- To operate this large-scale platform by providing both maintenance and external user support.
- To use the platform for the identification of key MBB performance parameters, thus enabling accurate, realistic and meaningful monitoring and performance assessment of such networks.
- To achieve a user-oriented closed-loop system design in which the experimental platform is open to external users , and where users are incorporated early on in the experimental design process.
- To provide Experiments as a Service (EaaS), thus lowering the barrier for using the platform to external users, by providing well-documented tools and high-level scripts to execute experiments, collect results, and analyze data.
- To develop models for sustaining and extending the platform and it’s usage beyond the project budget and project ending.