MAR: A Commuter Router Infrastructure for the Mobile Internet
We introduce MAR, a commuter mobile access router infrastructure that exploits wireless diversity (e.g. channel diversity, network diversity, and technology diversity) to provide improved data performance for wireless data users. Our system design stems from the observation that rather than choosing a single wireless service provider (e.g. Sprint, AT&T, BT, Vodafone), a single technology (e.g. GPRS, UMTS, CDMA, 802.11), or a single wireless channel, users can obtain signiﬁcant beneﬁts by using the multiplicity of choices available. MAR is a wireless multi-homed device that can be placed in moving vehicles (e.g. car, bus, train) to enable high-speed data access. MAR dynamically instantiates new channels based on traﬃc demand, aggregates the bandwidth and dynamically shifts load from poor quality to better quality channels. MAR, thus, provides a faster, more stable, and reliable communication channel to mobile users. We have implemented and tested the MAR system in our testbed which spans the networks of three diﬀerent cellular providers. Through our experiments we have performed a detailed evaluation to quantify the beneﬁts of MAR for diﬀerent protocols and applications. For example, even in highly mobile environments, MAR, on average, improves the end-user experience of web-browsing and streaming applications by a factor of 2.8 and 4.4 respectively. Our results show that signiﬁcant beneﬁts can be obtained by exploiting the diversity in coverage oﬀered by many cellular operators, diﬀerent technology networks (e.g. GPRS, CDMA), and diverse wireless channels.