DChannel: Accelerating Mobile Applications With Parallel High-bandwidth and Low-latency Channels

Authors: 

William Sentosa, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Balakrishnan Chandrasekaran, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam; P. Brighten Godfrey, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and VMware; Haitham Hassanieh, EPFL; Bruce Maggs, Duke University and Emerald Innovations

Abstract: 

Interactive mobile applications like web browsing and gaming are known to benefit significantly from low latency networking, as applications communicate with cloud servers and other users' devices. Emerging mobile channel standards have not met these needs: 5G's general-purpose eMBB channel has much higher bandwidth than 4G but empirically offers little improvement for common latency-sensitive applications, while its ultra-low-latency URLLC channel is targeted at only specific applications with very low bandwidth requirements.

We explore a different direction for wireless channel design to address the fundamental bandwidth-latency tradeoff: utilizing two channels—one high bandwidth, one low latency—simultaneously to improve performance of common Internet applications. We design DChannel, a fine-grained packet-steering scheme that takes advantage of these parallel channels to transparently improve application performance. With 5G channels, our trace-driven and live network experiments show that even though URLLC offers just 1% of the bandwidth of eMBB, using both channels can improve web page load time and responsiveness of common mobile apps by 16-40% compared to using exclusively eMBB. This approach may provide service providers important incentives to make low latency channels available for widespread use.

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Sentosa Paper (Prepublication) PDF