Web Experience in Mobile Networks: Lessons from Two Million Page Visits
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Measuring and characterizing web page performance is a challeng- ing task. When it comes to the mobile world, the highly varying technology characteristics coupled with the opaque network con- guration make it even more di cult. Aiming at reproducibility, we present a large scale empirical study of web page performance collected in eleven commercial mobile networks spanning four countries. By digging into measurement from nearly two million web browsing sessions, we shed light on the impact of di erent web protocols, browsers, and mobile technologies on the web per- formance. We nd that the impact of mobile broadband access is sizeable. For example, the median page load time using mobile broadband increases by a third compared to wired access. Mobility clearly stresses the system, with handover causing the most evi- dent performance penalties. Contrariwise, our measurements show that the adoption of HTTP/2 and QUIC has practically negligible impact. To understand the intertwining of all parameters, we adopt state-of-the-art statistical methods to identify the signi cance of di erent factors on the web performance. Our analysis con rms the importance of access technology and mobility context as well as webpage composition and browser. Our work highlights the importance of large-scale measurements. Even with our controlled setup, the complexity of the mobile web ecosystem is challenging to untangle. For this, we are releasing the dataset as open data for validation and further research.