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Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing
Volume 2018, Article ID 2045760, 11 pages
Research Article

MPTCP Tunnel: An Architecture for Aggregating Bandwidth of Heterogeneous Access Networks

1Tsinghua National Laboratory for Information Science and Technology, Beijing, China
2Department of Computer Science and Technology, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Xiaolan Liu; moc.361@nujzlxl

Received 8 August 2017; Revised 30 December 2017; Accepted 22 January 2018; Published 26 March 2018

Academic Editor: Ernestina Cianca

Copyright © 2018 Xiaolan Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Fixed and cellular networks are two typical access networks provided by operators. Fixed access network is widely employed; nevertheless, its bandwidth is sometimes not sufficient enough to meet user bandwidth requirements. Meanwhile, cellular access network owns unique advantages of wider coverage, faster increasing link speed, more flexible deployment, and so forth. Therefore, it is attractive for operators to mitigate the bandwidth shortage by bundling these two. Actually, there have been existing schemes proposed to aggregate the bandwidth of two access networks, whereas they all have their own problems, like packet reordering or extra latency overhead. To address this problem, we design new architecture, MPTCP Tunnel, to aggregate the bandwidth of multiple heterogeneous access networks from the perspective of operators. MPTCP Tunnel uses MPTCP, which solves the reordering problem essentially, to bundle multiple access networks. Besides, MPTCP Tunnel sets up only one MPTCP connection at play which adapts itself to multiple traffic types and TCP flows. Furthermore, MPTCP Tunnel forwards intact IP packets through access networks, maintaining the end-to-end TCP semantics. Experimental results manifest that MPTCP Tunnel can efficiently aggregate the bandwidth of multiple access networks and is more adaptable to the increasing heterogeneity of access networks than existing mechanisms.