Experience: Implications of Roaming in Europe

Anna Maria Mandalari 1 Andra Lutu 2 Ana Custura 3 Ali Safari 4 Özgü Alay 5 Marcelo Bagnulo 1
Vaibhav Bajpai 6 Anna Brunstrom 7 Jörg Ott 6 Marco Mellia 4 Gorry Fairhurst 3

Abstract ''Roam like Home'' is the initiative of the European Commission to end the levy of extra charges when roaming within the European region. As a result, people are able to use data services more freely across Europe. However, the implications roaming solutions have on performance have not been carefully examined. This paper provides an in-depth characterization of the implications of international data roaming within Europe. We build a unique roaming measurements platform using 16 different mobile networks deployed in six countries across Europe. Using this platform, we measure different aspects of international roaming in 4G networks, including mobile network configuration, performance characteristics, and content discrimination. We find that operators adopt common approaches to implementing roaming, resulting in additional latency penalties of 60ms or more, depending on geographical distance. Considering content accessibility, roaming poses additional constraints that leads to only minimal deviations when accessing content in the original country. However, geographical restrictions in the visited country make the picture more complicated and less intuitive.



Anna Maria Mandalari, Andra Lutu, Ana Custura, Ali Safari Khatouni, Özgü Alay, Marcelo Bagnulo, Vaibhav Bajpai, Anna Brunstrom, Jörg Ott, Marco Mellia, and Gorry Fairhurst. 2018. Experience: Implications of Roaming in Europe. In Proceedings of the 24th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (MobiCom '18). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 179-189. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3241539.3241577


Raw Data Set

The raw data set is freely available here.

Parsed Data Set

The parsed data set is freely available here.

Data Set Analysis scripts

The analysis scripts are freely available here.

Roaming MONROE containers

The MONROE containers are freely available here.