In recent years, the Mobile broadband (MBB) networks became core to how the modern society operates. Arguably, they are the most important piece of the modern communications infrastructure. The combination of rising popularity of mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) with the availability of high-capacity 3G /4G mobile networks changed the way most people access and use the Internet. Thus a need for an objective information on MBB networks’ performance increased in value for many parties. Operators, regulators and policy makers, consumers, businesses, researchers and innovators would like to know objectively the networks’ quality. There is a demand to develop tools that rigorously and scientifically assess their performance as experienced by the end user.
The MONROE project
MONROE designed, built and operated one of the first open access and flexible hardware-based platform for measurements and custom experimentation on operational MBB networks. It consists of both, fixed and mobile nodes, distributed in 4 countries (Norway, Sweden, Italy and Spain) in 5 main cities in Europe (Oslo, Karlstad, Torino, Pisa and Madrid). The MONROE nodes are constructed to be flexible and powerful enough to run most measurement and experimental tasks. We designed the experiments to provide an accurate assessment of MBB networks characteristics. Furthermore, the MONROE platform provides WiFi connectivity allowing to access different technologies as well as new ways of combining them to increase performance and robustness.