Research Article

Mobile broadband quality of service analysis using host-based performance measurements


Abstract

Mobile broadband since its adoption in Africa has been able to deliver both social and economical dividends to the African people. The increased migration to mobile broadband services in Africa is due to accelerated smartphone adoption rate, increased network roll-out and translation to new and faster technologies. Because technological growth plays a substantial role in society, there is a need for an independent and unbiased assessment of the quality of service offered by mobile broadband infrastructure. However, little work had been carried out on the systematic and consistent investigation of mobile broadband performance monitoring, analysis, evaluation and reporting in Africa. This paper presents a thorough inquiry into the methods employed for end-to-end mobile broadband network measurement, monitoring and experimentation. Policies and recommendations are proposed based on the lessons learnt. Amongst these recommendations is advocacy for the use of a host-based measurement approach for the continued study of mobile broadband performance to assist the various stakeholders to make informed decisions. Furthermore, it was brought to the fore that unsatisfactory broadband speed is not the sole factor that limits the quality of broadband service, and, lastly, significant variations in broadband speed for the same service can be recorded over time due to several complex factors relating to different measurement approaches and conditions.

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