Characterizing 5G Adoption and its Impact on Network Traffic and Mobile Service Consumption
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The roll out of 5G, coupled with the traffic monitoring capabilities of modern industry-grade networks, offers an unprecedented opportunity to closely observe the impact that the introduction of a new major wireless technology has on the end users. In this paper, we seize such a unique chance, and carry out a first-of-its-kind in-depth analysis of 5G adoption along spatial, temporal and service dimensions. Leveraging massive measurement data about application-level demands collected in a nationwide 4G/5G network, we characterize the impact of the new technology on when, where and how mobile subscribers consume 5G traffic both in aggregate and for individual types of services. This lets us unveil the overall incidence of 5G in the total mobile network traffic, its spatial and temporal fluctuations, its effect on the way 5G services are consumed, the way individual services and geographical locations contribute to fluctuations in the 5G demand, as well as surprising connections between socioeconomic status of local populations and the way the 5G technology is presently consumed.