Performance evaluation of network header compression schemes for UDP, RTP and TCP

Máté Tömösközi, Patrick Seeling, Péter Ekler, Frank H.P. Fitzek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Modern cellular networks utilising the Long-Term Evolution (LTE) set of standards face an ever-increasing demand for mobile data from connected devices. Header compression is employed to minimise the overhead for IP-based cellular network traffic. In this paper, we evaluate the three header compression implementations used by such networks with respect to their potential throughput increase and complexity for different mobile service scenarios. We compare RTP, UDP and TCP profile compressions regarding their compression gain and complexity. Specifically, we consider header compression as defined by (i) IP Header Compression (RFC 2507), (ii) Robust Header Compression version 1 (RFC 3095), and (iii) the recently updated Robust Header Compression version 2 (RFC 5225) with TCP/IP profile (RFC 6846).This paper presents the performance evaluation of these header compression schemes for UDP, RTP and TCP, for both IPv4 and IPv6 streams in error-free and error-prone scenarios. A comparison between the Robust Header Compression methods and IP Header Compression is also provided. Our results show that all implementations have great potential for saving bandwidth in IP-based wireless networks, even under varying channel conditions. We also present for the first time an analysis of certain RTP header fields which, depending on the transmission characteristics, could have high impact on the overall compression gain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-162
Number of pages12
JournalPeriodica polytechnica Electrical engineering and computer science
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2016


  • Bandwidth savings
  • Cellular networks
  • Mobile multimedia
  • Robust header compression


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