Data Throughput





Real Life Test


This note is for fun, but I think technically meaningfull as well. so I decided to share. I tried to check on my wifi traffic for various use cases.

I know this is not directly related to LTE or 5G, but you may try the same thing for your LTE or NR devices. I tried with WiFi first mainly because it is easy and simple to do and anybody can do it without any special setup.


I checked the realtime IP throughput with Wireshark for some use cases that I am trying over WiFi network at home. If you want to do the same thing for your LTE or NR phone, you can do the same thing over hotspot on your device or on your device tethered to your PC.





Why I did these tests ?


Why I did these tests ? It is based on very personal question asking 'How much data rate (bandwidth) do I need for my mobile phone when I am using the most data hungry application ?'. In my case, the most data hungry application on my mobile phone is to watch high quality YouTube video. It would have been better to perform these tests with mobile phone and live network, but it would require some special test setup to get those test result. So I decided to try the test with my PC at whome on WiFi network. I think the result with mobile phone on live network would not be much different from the result shown here with PC and WiFi except the speed test in ideal live network condition. I think you would get much higher throughput in speed test with mobile phone in live network.


In short, I think only about 30 Mbps is good enough even for the highest quality of video streaming. It mean that we don't need such a high throughput like several hundreds or gigabits data rate on a single mobile phone, but the data demand on network side can keep going up with almost no limitation since a network can handle more number of mobile phones (subscribers) at the same time with such a high data rate. If you have any experience of trying to use high throughpu application at a very crowded places (like Airport, Shopping Mall, Stadium etc), it would not always be easy to get enough throughput from your mobile phone largely due to data throughput limitation on network side.




Case 1 > Regular YouTube


The first thing I did was to play a regular format YouTube that I am watching almost always while I am working and check the throughput. As you see below, the traffic is very bursty in the background even when you see the video without any unconfortable use experience. In most case, YouTube does not require much bandwidth as it push to the limit of your WiFi or LTE/NR device.





Case 2 > YouTube 8K video


I just wanted to push more traffic with YouTube and tried high quality video. As you see here, peak data rate does not change much but you see more frequent peaks (meaning higher average throughput) than the case of regular video.





Case 3 > Multiple YouTube Streaming


Now I want to push more traffic and tried multiple YouTube streaming simultaneously. The throughput profile that I got is as follows. (1) indicates only one stream, (2) indicates two simultaneous streaming, (3) indicates three simultaneous streaming and so on.





Case 4 > Internet Speedtest


Failing to push enough traffic with video streaming, I tried with internet speedtest tools. I got the prifile as shown below and I think this is close to the limit of my wife network. Around 20 Mbps average.





Case 5 > Speed Test with competing devices around


Now I wanted to see how much the traffic on my PC get impacted by another PC competing for the same WiFi Access


Followings are some of the scenario and result that I tried. I see almost no impact by another competing WiFi device. (NOTE : I see considerable throughput DIP at (6) but I don't think this is due to the competing device. Just test repeatability issue since (5), (6), (7) is done under the same condition)

  • 1,2 : speed test only
  • 3,4 : speed test with another PC running a regular YouTube
  • 5,6,7 : speed test with another PC running a live stream YouTube
  • 8,9 : speed test with another PC running a 8K HDD YouTube