The Intelligent Use of Multiple Interfaces
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Long-Term Evolution (LTE) is the latest development in wide area cellular mobile network technology. In contrast with the earlier generations of circuit-switched mobile networks, LTE is all-IP packet-switched network. Both voice and data are sent inside IP packets. Voice over IP (VoIP) is used to provide voice service to LTE users. The speech frames are encapsulated into real-time protocol (RTP) packets and sent over the network. The underlying UDP and IP layers prepend their headers to this small RTP packet resulting in a relatively high overhead. The small size of the RTP packets containing voice/audio leads to an overhead problem as the protocol overhead is in addition to the large LTE frame overhead, thus wasting network resources. This master?s thesis project proposes to multiplex RTP and data packets at the user?s device as a solution to reduce the overhead. Moreover, the capability of modern user devices to switch between several interfaces (such as LTE and WLAN), is taken into account and the multiplexing of multiple traffic flows or a single traffic flow are studied in the case of a vertical handover. Performance and cost metrics are used to evaluate different potential demultiplexing points, and then the best possible demultiplexing point is identified. The results of this evaluation show that several demultiplexing points can be used based on the operator?s needs. The increased packet payload size increases the energy efficiency of LTE and may avoid the need of the UE to switch to WLAN to save power. In addition, to ensure high quality of service for VoIP traffic, the simultaneous use of multiple interfaces is efficient if the multiplexer is enabled. The multiplexing solution proposed by this thesis is also fully compatible with any virtual private network encapsulation protocol.