Data Throughput - Test Setup

 

 

 

I saw a lot of persons trying to do IP throughput test in most complicated setup (e.g, Case 3 without IP monitoring tool) from the beginning without preparing any troubleshoot tools. If you are lucky, you will get it working. But in most case especially when the user tries the test for the first time with the specific test setup.

But I always recommend user to prepare proper troubleshooting setup first and do some preparational test before you try with the final setup.

 

For example, if you want to test with < Case 2 > configuration, first try with < Case 1 > Configuration and make it sure that there are no PC related issues.

 

If you want to try to test with < Case 3> configuration, first try with < Case 1>  & < Case 2>, make it sure that there are no router related issue.

 

Have Wireshark both on UE PC and Server PC in Case 2/ Monitor PC in Case 3. You have to be able to trace each steps of the path described below for each cases.

 

Does this sound too tedious ? Trust me !  This would be the fastest way to get the solution for any trouble.

 

Followings are various cases of test setup explained in this page.

  • Case 1 :  PC to PC throughput
  • Case 2 :  Data Card (UE) and Server PC
  • Case 3 :  Mobile Phone (UE) and Server PC with Tethering
  • Case 4 :  Mobile Phone (UE) and Server PC with Local Client (Client installed on UE)
  • Case 5 :  Mobile Phone (UE) and Server PC with Live Network/Test Network

 

 

< Case 1 >

 

This is not the test for mobile phone, but I recommend you to test your Server PC itself to make it sure that the server PC has enough performance for the throughput to be achieved. I saw many cases where we failed to get the throughput lower than expected not because of UE but because of the server itself. Also, in some cases UDP/TCP or even ping failed to go through due to some firewall settings. To get rid of all these possibility, I recommend you to try this at least when you setup the throughput test environment at initial stage or when you checked all the other components in the test but still fail to find the root cause of trouble.

 

 

 

< Case 2 >

 

This would be the most common test setup for data card type of the devices and the most common/stable demo environment from HSPA to early LTE.  Common cases of troughble for this case would be related to USB drive. Also performance may vary whether the device is used as a dial up modem or as a network card.

Recently as LTE Category goes higher, USB specification tend to become the bottleneck of the throughput. With LTE Category 6 or higher, the max throughput is 300 Mbps or higher. Make it sure that your USB on the device and the server PC support enough throughput capacity for this kind of test.

 

 

 

Ping Path from UE PC to Server PC :

      Ping Request : UE PC -(1)-> UE IP Driver -(2)-> UE PDCP -(3)-> UE RLC -(4)-> UE MAC -(5)-> UE PHY

                          -(6)-> RF Connection -(7)-> Equipment PHY -(8)-> Equipment MAC -(9)-> Equipment RLC

                          -(10)-> Equipment -(11)-> Equipment PDCP -(12)-> Equipment TE

                          -(13)-> Network Interface on Server PC

       Ping Reply : Server PC -(1)-> Equipment TE -(2)-> Equipment  PDCP -(3)-> Equipment RLC -(4)-> Equipment  MAC

                          -(5)-> Equipment PHY -(6)-> RF Connection -(7)-> UE PHY -(8)-> UE MAC -(9)-> UE RLC

                          -(10)-> UE PDCP  -(10)-> UE IP Driver -(11)-> Network Interface on UE PC

 

 

< Case 3 >

 

This configuration used to be used often upto LTE Cat 3 or Cat 4 in which UE side chipset performance is not high enough to handle very high throughput data.

Common cases of troughble for this case would be related to USB drive. Also performance may vary whether the device is used as a dial up modem or as a network card.

Recently as LTE Category goes higher, USB specification tend to become the bottleneck of the throughput. With LTE Category 6 or higher, the max throughput is 300 Mbps or higher. Make it sure that your USB on the device and the server PC support enough throughput capacity for this kind of test.

 

 

 

Ping Path from UE PC to Server PC :

      Ping Request : UE PC -(1)-> UE IP Driver -(2)-> UE PDCP -(3)-> UE RLC -(4)-> UE MAC -(5)-> UE PHY

                          -(6)-> RF Connection -(7)-> Equipment PHY -(8)-> Equipment MAC -(9)-> Equipment RLC

                          -(10)-> Equipment -(11)-> Equipment PDCP -(12)-> Equipment TE

                          -(13)-> Network Interface on Server PC

      Ping Reply : Server PC -(1)-> Equipment TE -(2)-> Equipment  PDCP -(3)-> Equipment RLC -(4)-> Equipment  MAC

                          -(5)-> Equipment PHY -(6)-> RF Connection -(7)-> UE PHY -(8)-> UE MAC -(9)-> UE RLC

                          -(10)-> UE PDCP  -(10)-> UE IP Driver -(11)-> Network Interface on UE PC

 

 

< Case 4 >

 

For a long time we have been using a tethering PC connected to UE to achieve high throughput, but recently the chipset performance on UE is almost up to PC performance and many USB interface either on UE or on PC failed to catch up the latest specificaiton, the configuration shown below is getting used more often.  Just install Data Apps like iperf or ftp tools directly onto UE and perform the throughput test.  As far as I have tried (as of Oct 2015), the highest throughput I got with this configuration was 360 Mbps with 3 CC (20+20+10Mhz).

 

 

Followings are some examples of client (Data App on UE) and Server (Data Application on Server PC) that I have tried.

For pure max throughput especially over 100 Mbps, you would need to use item i) combination, but for moderate throughput (below 100 Mbps) and in more realistic situation, I recommend you to try with combination ii) or iii).

 

Ping Path from UE PC to Server PC :

      Ping Request : UE Data App -(1)-> UE IP Stack -(2)-> UE PDCP -(3)-> UE RLC -(4)-> UE MAC -(5)-> UE PHY

                          -(6)-> RF Connection -(7)-> Equipment PHY -(8)-> Equipment MAC -(9)-> Equipment RLC

                          -(10)-> Equipment -(11)-> Equipment PDCP -(12)-> Equipment TE

                          -(13)-> Network Interface on Server PC

      Ping Reply : Server PC -(1)-> Equipment TE -(2)-> Equipment  PDCP -(3)-> Equipment RLC -(4)-> Equipment  MAC

                          -(5)-> Equipment PHY -(6)-> RF Connection -(7)-> UE PHY -(8)-> UE MAC -(9)-> UE RLC

                          -(10)-> UE PDCP  -(10)-> UE IP Stack -(11)-> UE Data App

 

 

< Case 5 >

 

 

Ping Path from UE PC to Server PC :

      Ping Request : UE PC -(1)-> UE IP Driver -(2)-> UE PDCP -(3)-> UE RLC -(4)-> UE MAC -(5)-> UE PHY

                          -(6)-> RF Connection -(7)-> Equipment PHY -(8)-> Equipment MAC -(9)-> Equipment RLC

                          -(10)-> Equipment -(11)-> Equipment PDCP -(12)-> Equipment TE -(13)-> Dummy Hub

                          -(14)-> Router -(15)-> Network Interface on Server PC

      Ping Reply : Server PC -(1)-> Router -(2)-> Dummy Hub -(3)-> Equipment TE -(4)-> Equipment  PDCP

                          -(5)-> Equipment RLC -(6)-> Equipment  MAC -(7)-> Equipment PHY -(8)-> RF Connection

                          -(9)-> UE PHY -(10)-> UE MAC -(11)-> UE RLC -(12)-> UE PDCP  -(13)-> UE IP Driver

                          -(14)-> Network Interface on UE PC