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A platform to measure mobile broadband networks in Europe

IMDEA Networks has announced the launch of an ambitious research project to measure mobile broadband networks in Europe. It aims to provide objective data to help us understand and improve the quality experienced by the end-user.


MONROEMobile broadband (MBB) networks underpin a lot of vital operations of today’s communications and information society and are arguably becoming the most important piece of the modern communications infrastructure worldwide. The immense popularity of mobile devices such as 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, with a marked and growing preference towards mobile access.

Given their importance, there is a strong need for objective data about the stability and performance of MBB networks, as well as for tools to rigorously and scientifically assess their performance. In particular, it is important to measure and understand quality as experienced by the end user. This information is very valuable for many parties including operators, regulators and policy makers, businesses whose services depend on MBB networks, researchers and innovators and of course consumers and society at large.

The European project MONROE (which stands for Measuring Mobile Broadband Networks in Europe) has been launched to design, build and operate an open, European-scale, flexible platform with multi-homing capabilities to run experiments on operational 3G/4G Mobile Broadband networks. One of the main objectives of MONROE is to use the platform for the identification of key MBB performance parameters, thus enabling accurate, realistic and meaningful monitoring and assessment of their performance. MONROE also provides Wi-Fi connectivity mimicking multi-homing in smartphones with both MBB and Wi-Fi interfaces, to allow experimenting on different access technologies as well as exploring new ways of combining them to increase performance and robustness.

The users of the platform are in the core of the MONROE project, so that it will not only be open to project partners but to external experimenters and users, bringing the benefits of advanced research capabilities to all interested parties.

A team of IMDEA Networks’ scientists participates in this project: Joerg Widmer, Pierre Francois and Vincenzo Mancuso, who is MONROE’s Technical Manager. The rest of members of the project’s consortium are Simula Research Laboratory (Norway) [Project Coordinator], Karlstad University (Sweden), Politecnico Torino (Italy), Celerway Communications (Norway) [Dissemination and Exploitation Manager], Telenor (Norway), NET1 (Sweden), Nextworks (Italy) and GTT (Italy). MONROE will run from March 2015 to February 2018 and it is funded by the European Union under the ICT Programme H2020.

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Source(s): 
IMDEA Networks Institute