Taming user-generated content in mobile networks via Drop Zones

Ionut Trestian*, Supranamaya Ranjan, Aleksandar Kuzmanovic, Antonio Nucci

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

20 Scopus citations


Smartphones have changed the way people communicate. Most prominently, using commonplace mobile device features (e.g., high resolution cameras), they started producing and uploading large amounts of content that increases at an exponential pace. In the absence of viable technical solutions, some cellular network providers are considering to start charging special usage fees to address the problem. Our contributions are twofold. First, we find that the usergenerated content problem is a user-behavioral problem. By analyzing user mobility and data logs of close to 2 million users of a cellular network, we find that (i) users upload content from a small number of locations, typically corresponding to their home or work locations; (ii) because such locations are different for different users, we find that the problem appears ubiquitous, since user-generated content uploads grow exponentially at most locations. However, we also find that (iii) there exists a significant lag between content generation and uploading times. For example, we find that 55% of content that is uploaded via mobile phones is at least 1 day old. Second, based on the above insights, we propose a new cellular network architecture. Our approach proposes capacity upgrades at a select number of locations called Drop Zones. Although not particularly popular for uploads originally, Drop Zones seamlessly fall within the natural movement patterns of a large number of users. They are therefore better suited for uploading larger quantities of content in a postponed manner. We design infrastructure placement algorithms and demonstrate that by upgrading infrastructure in only 963 base-stations across the entire United States, it is possible to deliver 50% of total content via the Drop Zones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2011 Proceedings IEEE INFOCOM
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Aug 2 2011
EventIEEE INFOCOM 2011 - Shanghai, China
Duration: Apr 10 2011Apr 15 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE INFOCOM
ISSN (Print)0743-166X



ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Taming user-generated content in mobile networks via Drop Zones'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this