ISSN : 1796-2021
Volume : 4    Issue : 5    Date : June 2009

Statistical Analysis of Broadband Wireless Links in Rural Areas
Wei Zhan and Ana E. Goulart
Page(s): 320-328
Full Text:
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Third-generation (3G) cellular systems are often considered as a promising strategy for high-speed
internet deployment in rural areas. However, bandwidth in 3G systems is a limited resource and
can be quite different from the advertised bandwidth. In addition, in wireless applications such as
voice over IP, video-conference, remote monitoring and telemetry (e.g., for healthcare applications)
the Quality of Service (QoS) is critical. It is therefore important to understand how different factors
affect the QoS requirements of real-time applications. Focusing on the reverse link (or uplink), we
performed an assessment of the bandwidth and packet loss rate in a real network environment,
using test data collected with two wireless data cards from different providers, in both rural and
urban locations. The main contribution of this paper is the presentation of a formal statistical
method – a Design of Experiments (DOE) analysis - that can be used to analyze the interactions
between different variables, such as packet size, location, buffer size, and wireless provider. With a
better understanding of the impact of such factors and their interactions, the end-user may be able
to make the best selection of certain controllable parameters, in an effort to improve the QoS of the
3G connection. This is especially important for users located in rural areas, where cellular coverage
is limited.

Index Terms
statistical analysis, design of experiments, broadband wireless, 3G, QoS, real-time traffic