Experience: Implications of roaming in Europe

Anna Maria Mandalari*, Andra Lutu, Ana Custura, Ali Safari Khatouni, Özgü Alay, Marcelo Bagnulo, Vaibhav Bajpai, Anna Brunstrom, Jörg Ott, Marco Mellia, Gorry Fairhurst

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPublished conference contribution

19 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


"Roam like Home" is the initiative of the European Commission (EC) to end the levy of extra charges when roaming within the European region. As a result, people are able to use data services more freely across Europe. However, the implications roaming solutions have on performance have not been carefully examined. This paper provides an in-depth characterization of the implications of international data roaming within Europe.We build a unique roaming measurement platform using 16 different mobile networks deployed in six countries across Europe. Using this platform, we measure different aspects of international roaming in 3G and 4G networks, including mobile network configuration, performance characteristics, and content discrimination. We find that operators adopt common approaches to implementing roaming, resulting in additional latency penalties of-60 ms or more, depending on geographical distance. Considering content accessibility, roaming poses additional constraints that leads to only minimal deviations when accessing content in the original country. However, geographical restrictions in the visited country make the picture more complicated and less intuitive.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMobiCom '18
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 24th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking
Place of PublicationNew Delhi, India
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781450359030
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2018
Event24th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MobiCom 2018 - New Delhi, India
Duration: 29 Oct 20182 Nov 2018


Conference24th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MobiCom 2018
CityNew Delhi

Bibliographical note

The authors appreciate the valuable comments provided by the anonymous reviewers and the guidance of our anonymous shepherd. This work has been partially supported by the European Union H2020-ICT grants 644399 (MONROE) and 688421 (MAMI). The work of Marcelo Bagnulo has been partially funded by H2020 project MONROE/CGNWatcher and the 5G-City project (TEC2016-76795-C6-3-R). The work of Anna Maria Mandalari was partially funded by the H2020 project 5G-Range (777137). Part of this research was supported by Bayrisches Wissenschaftsforum (BayWISS) in the context of the Verbundkolleg “Mobilität und Verkehr”. Part of this work was carried out while Andra Lutu was with Simula Research Laboratory, Norway


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