Measuring broadband access network performance in Pakistan: A comparative study

Muhammad Faheem Awan, Tahir Ahmad, Saad Qaisar, Nick Feamster, Srikanth Sundaresan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although broadband Internet relishes wide penetration in Pakistan, performance of fixed and wireless broadband networks have not been thoroughly investigated from perspective of end-users. To the best of our knowledge, no independent study exists to date documenting home user broadband experience in Pakistan. This dearth of information is troubling as benchmarking broadband performance is fundamentally important for consumers in Pakistan due to its big Internet market. To address this gap, we conducted a pilot study of both fixed landline and fixed wireless broadband connections in Pakistan through deployment of programmable wireless routers for home users. Our work is inspired by (and compares to) a previous study of fixed and wireless broadband performance in South Africa that was published in 2013, drawing comparisons to previous work where appropriate. We measure the performance of both fixed landline and fixed wireless ISPs. Our findings agree with the findings of this previous work, suggesting that (1) consumers in Pakistan are not getting advertised speeds; (2) wireless broadband satisfies the advertised performance bounds better than wired broadband in a majority of cases under consideration; (3) network latency often contributes to performance bottlenecks more than throughput; and (4) ISPs in Pakistan shapes internet traffic in order to bring in compliance with desired traffic shape. Limiting factors such as latency mean that investing in local server infrastructure and rich peering between different ISPs will also make a significant difference in improving the Internet experience for users in Pakistan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 40th Annual IEEE Conference on Local Computer Networks, LCN 2015
EditorsSalil Kanhere, Soumaya Cherkaoui, Jens Tolle
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Pages595-602
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781467367738
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 24 2015
Event40th Annual IEEE Conference on Local Computer Networks, LCN 2015 - Clearwater Beach, United States
Duration: Oct 26 2015Oct 29 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings - Conference on Local Computer Networks, LCN
Volume2015-December

Other

Other40th Annual IEEE Conference on Local Computer Networks, LCN 2015
CountryUnited States
CityClearwater Beach
Period10/26/1510/29/15

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Hardware and Architecture

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  • Cite this

    Awan, M. F., Ahmad, T., Qaisar, S., Feamster, N., & Sundaresan, S. (2015). Measuring broadband access network performance in Pakistan: A comparative study. In S. Kanhere, S. Cherkaoui, & J. Tolle (Eds.), Proceedings of the 40th Annual IEEE Conference on Local Computer Networks, LCN 2015 (pp. 595-602). [7365903] (Proceedings - Conference on Local Computer Networks, LCN; Vol. 2015-December). IEEE Computer Society. https://doi.org/10.1109/LCNW.2015.7365903