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An Automatic and On-demand MNO Selection Mechanism


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A manual selection of the Mobile Network Operator (MNO) to be used on a mobile device is possible through the respective user interface. Furthermore, mobile devices can be adjusted to select automatically the MNO based on the strongest signal strength, among the list of those MNOs the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card is allowed to be registered with. However, so far in modern mobile operating systems, such as Android and iOS, there is no available method in the public developer’s Application Programming Interface (API), which allows for an automatic and on-demand selection of the MNO by third- party applications. Recently, various research approaches assume the existence of an automatic and on-demand MNO selection mechanism to achieve different goals, such as breaking the termination rates monopoly (AbaCUS) or minimizing the non-ionizing radiation of mobile/wearable devices. The interest of such a mechanism has been raised three years ago by the Android developers community. Thus, this work here presents an automatic and on-demand MNO selection mechanism, that has been designed and implemented on the Android platform. For evaluation purposes the energy and end-to-end (e2e) time consumption while switching among MNOs using this mechanism is evaluated and as an applied example the data consumption of AbaCUS signaling messages is measured.

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An Automatic and On-demand MNO Selection Mechanism

  1. 1. © 2014 UZH, CSG@IFI An Automatic and On-demand MNO Selection Mechanism Christos Tsiaras, Samuel Liniger, Burkhard Stiller Department of Informatics IFI, Communication Systems Group CSG, University of Zürich UZH,, Krakow 06 May 2014 - NOMS 2014 Motivation MNO Selection Mechanism Evaluation
  2. 2. © 2014 UZH, CSG@IFI Current Termination Service Situation The mobile termination service, since the early days of mobile communication, is considered to be a monopoly Could any of you connect me with Alice? Mobile network XAlice’s network I am the only network that can connect anyone with Alice! q  Only the Mobile Network Operator (MNO) that Alice is connected with can reach her Bob
  3. 3. © 2014 UZH, CSG@IFI Motivation Alice’s MNOBob’s network Bob Alice I want to call Termination rateService rate q  Total cost of the call = Service rate + Termination rate q  Calling Party Pays (CPP) principle → Total cost
  4. 4. © 2014 UZH, CSG@IFI Research Idea Auction-based Charging User-centric System (AbaCUS) q  Auction –  Auction parameters –  Quality-of-Service (QoS) parameters •  Resources availability •  Voice quality •  Network access priority –  Price q  Automatic and on-demand MNO selection mechanism Alice’s MNO MNO X
  5. 5. © 2014 UZH, CSG@IFI MNO Selection Mechanism Requirements q  Download it @ q  Accessing the Android internal Application Programming Interface (API) –  Obtain the original Android framework •  Compile own framework •  Extract it from a device –  Create a customized Android framework •  Access the internal API in an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) –  Modify the IDE access rule •  Eclipse prohibits to use the internal API q  Sign the application with the system signature key
  6. 6. © 2014 UZH, CSG@IFI Evaluation q  MNO switching time R1 q  Mechanism’s energy consumption R2 q  Mechanism’s data volume demand R3 010101
  7. 7. © 2014 UZH, CSG@IFI Experiment q  Foreign SIM cards in roaming to simulate the SIM cards acceptance –  Switching between every MNO pair 6 x 100 times –  5 different time-frames –  Urban area inside a building –  Moving on a train
  8. 8. © 2014 UZH, CSG@IFI MNO Switching Time -1 (R1)
  9. 9. © 2014 UZH, CSG@IFI MNO Switching Time - 2 (R1) q  MNO switching time independent of the: –  MNO –  Scenario •  Stable •  Moving
  10. 10. © 2014 UZH, CSG@IFI MNO Switching Time Correlations (R1) RSSI Value Signal strength [dBm] 0 -113 1 -111 2-30 -109 to -53 31 > -51 99 Not known or not detectable q  Performance independent of: –  Signal strength –  Time-frame
  11. 11. © 2014 UZH, CSG@IFI Long MNO Switching Time (R1) 08:00 10:30 12:00 14:00 17:00 02:00 0 50 100 150 200 250 Time of the day NumberoftimesMNOswitchingexceeded10s q  Potential affect of high cell occupancy
  12. 12. © 2014 UZH, CSG@IFI Calling Time With MNO Switching (R1) q  Low time-overhead
  13. 13. © 2014 UZH, CSG@IFI Energy Evaluation (R2) Consumption 2G max talk time [h] 2G power [W] 3G max talk time [h] 3G power [W] Voice Service 18.33 0.3333 8.67 0.705 Stand-by 710.00 0.0086 610.0 0.010 Process Power [W] Talk 3G 0.7050 MNO selection moving 0.6536 MNO selection stable 0.5406 Talk 2G 0.3333 Power consumption overhead on average of a 3 minute call: +(2.6-6.5)% battery consumption per call.
  14. 14. © 2014 UZH, CSG@IFI Data Evaluation (R3) Activity Stakeholder Received [B] Sent [B] Register GCM* Caller/Callee 128 457 Service request Caller 358 (1) 796 (4) Change MNO Callee 256 (2) 276 (3) Unregister GCM Caller/Callee 128 437 Caller Callee Auction Authority 1. Service request 2. Change MNO 3. OK 4. Ready to call *Google Cloud Messaging
  15. 15. © 2014 UZH, CSG@IFI Conclusions q  An automatic and on-demand MNO selection mechanism is usable –  Energy –  Time q  Access to the internal Android API is needed to get access to the GSM modem –  Such method need to be published in the open API from multiple mobile terminal equipment vendors ✔
  16. 16. © 2014 UZH, CSG@IFI Thank you Q&A FLAMINGO