A Survey of TCP Optimizations for Wireless Channels

Manfred Georg



The use of wireless links causes several problems for TCP connections. Among them are high loss rates, high delay latency, high delay jitter, reverse path contention, dynamic link capacity, and link capacity dependent on transmission rate. These problems can be ameliorated through the use of modifications to TCP, with or without support from a router in the network. Solutions fall into two general categories: modifications which utilize an intermediate router with or without breaking the end-to-end semantics of TCP, and modifications which do not rely on any cooperation from routers. Solutions which utilize an intermediate router generally are more effective because they do not need to guess whether losses were caused by congestion or corruption. However such solutions are more costly and difficult to deploy and may break the end-to-end semantics of TCP. In general, modifications to TCP must be carefully crafted so that they remain fair to legacy TCP implementations.


TCP, Wireless, Congestion Control, Loss Classifier, Split-TCP, SRP, WTCP, MTCP, SNOOP, Split TCP, Airmail, FEC, Satellite

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

1.1. Basic Background on TCP

1.2. Wireless Channels

1.3. Roadmap

2. TCP Features

3. Router Supported Solutions

3.1. Split Connection Protocols

3.2. Mobility

3.3. Snooping Protocols

3.4. Forward Error Correction

3.5. Link Level Retransmission

3.6. Summary of Protocols

4. Router Unaware Solutions

5. Practical Applications

5.1. Satellite Communication

5.2. Bluetooth

5.3. 802.11

6. Conclusion

7. References

8. Glossary

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