Satellite-3G Hybrid Networks: Impact of ACM and ARQ on TCP Performance

Published online: Sep 22, 2007 Full Text: PDF (823 KiB) DOI: 10.24138/jcomss.v3i3.252
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Giovanni Giambene


The adoption of satellite systems in providing broadband transmissions to mobile users such as trains, buses and vans is expected to be an interesting solution. The scenario we considered refers to a hybrid network architecture, where a geostationary satellite forward link and a terrestrial 3G return link are used in order to exploit both the high bandwidth of a satellite channel and the lower propagation delay of a terrestrial path. The resulting round-trip delay is much shorter than that one experienced by using both the forward and return link via satellite. This is particularly appealing for overcoming the TCP efficiency degradation in high delay-bandwidth product and error prone channels. In this hybrid scenario, we used simulation results to compare the goodput of four of the most popular TCP variants, in the presence of a GOOD-BAD satellite channel, as the one experienced by mobile users. We applied an Adaptive Coding and Modulation (ACM) technique as well, and studied its impact on TCP efficiency, when used both alone and in cooperation with an Automatic Repeat reQuest (ARQ) scheme of the Selective Repeat (SR) type with low persistency. Results obtained indicate that this hybrid architecture is advantageous for TCP transmissions in terms of average goodput, and that ACM is effective only if it is jointly used with ARQ schemes.


Hybrid networks, TCP, ACM, ARQ
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