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Network Working Group                 Mikael Degermark, Lulea University
INTERNET-DRAFT                                      Hans Hannu, Ericsson
Expires: June 2000                           Lars-Erik Jonsson, Ericsson
                                               Krister Svanbro, Ericsson
                                                       December 10, 1999

                     CRTP over cellular radio links

Status of this memo

   This document is an Internet-Draft and is in full conformance with
   all provisions of Section 10 of RFC2026.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF), its areas, and its working groups. Note that other
   groups may also distribute working documents as Internet-Drafts.

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time. It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or cite them other than as "work in progress".

   The list of current Internet-Drafts can be accessed at

   The list of Internet-Draft Shadow Directories can be accessed at

   This document is an individual submission to the IETF. Comments
   should be directed to the authors.


   This document evaluates the performance of a header compression
   protocol for RTP, CRTP [RFC-2508], over links built on cellular radio
   access technology. The key characteristics affecting CRTP performance
   over such links are the high error rates and the relatively long
   roundtrip time over the link.

   Bandwidth is typically expensive in cellular radio access networks,
   saving a single octet per voice packet can be equivalent to saving
   many billion dollars in deployment since fewer base-stations are

Degermark, Hannu, Jonsson, Svanbro                              [Page 1]

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   needed. This is beneficial for operators as well as end-users who can
   get cheaper wireless IP telephony service.

   CRTP performance is evaluated for two kinds of link layers operating
   over a realistic radio channel with high bit-error rates. Two main
   conclusions are drawn. The first is that CRTP does not perform well
   for this type of link. The second is that in high-error environments
   it is very beneficial to have a checksum covering the compressed
   header only, not the payload, so that the decompressor sees all non-
   damaged headers. When a strong checksum covers the entire link layer
   frame, header compression performs badly since too many headers are
   discarded due to damaged payloads.


   1.  Introduction..................................................3

   2.  Header compression............................................3

   3.  Link layers...................................................5
         3.1.  PPP in HDLC-like framing..............................5
         3.2.  Link layer with partial checksum......................6

   4.  Description of simulations....................................6
         4.1.  Simulated scenario....................................6
         4.2.  The cellular link and the back channel................7

   5.  Frame error rates (FER).......................................8

   6.  Evaluation of CRTP for cellular radio links...................8
         6.1.  An ideal header compression scheme....................9
         6.2.  CRTP without Twice...................................10
         6.3.  CRTP with Twice......................................12
         6.4.  Loss patterns........................................13
         6.5.  Using only COMPRESSED_NON_TCP packets................16
         6.6.  Using periodic refreshes instead of requests.........17

   7.  Conclusions..................................................19
         7.1.  How to improve CRTP performance......................20

   8.  Authors addresses............................................21

   9.  References...................................................21

Degermark, Hannu, Jonsson, Svanbro                              [Page 2]

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1. Introduction

   With IP telephony gaining momentum and cellular telephony having
   hundreds of millions of users, it seems inevitable that some future
   wireless telephony systems will be based on IP technology. What we
   today know as cellular phones may in addition to telephony and video
   have IP stacks, web browsers, email clients, networked games, etc. If
   based on IP, the telephony service will be much more flexible than
   today. This document concentrates on the problem of providing a good
   IP solution for speech, but it is clear that applications for video,
   games, etc, will also have to be supported.

   It is vital for cellular phone systems to use the radio resources
   efficiently in order to support a sufficient number of users per
   cell. Only then can deployment costs be kept low enough. It will also
   be important to provide sufficiently high quality voice and video. In
   particular the voice service should be as good as what users expect
   from the cellular phone systems of today. A lower quality may only be
   accepted if costs are significantly lower than today.

   The radio channels used in cellular systems have very high bit-error
   rates (BER) due to shadow fading, multipath fading, and continuous
   mobility. The radio signals of one user will interfere with the radio
   signals of other users, so with the desired number of users per cell,
   BERs will be high. Even after error correcting channel coding, the
   remaining BER can be as high as 1e-3 (one in 1000) or even 1e-2 (one
   in 100) in bad environments.

   The only cost efficient way to achieve sufficient voice quality over
   such channels is to use clever speech encoders and decoders that can
   tolerate some damage to the encoded sound data. It is not feasible to
   use a link layer that delivers all data reliably through an ARQ
   scheme with link-local retransmission. High delays would be the
   result. If the long maximum delays caused by an ARQ scheme were
   acceptable, it would be better to spread the signal over time in
   order to reduce the BER, rather than using an ARQ protocol. Neither
   is it feasible to have the link layer discard all damaged frames. The
   large fraction of discarded frames would result in insufficient
   speech quality.

   Unless explicitly stated otherwise, the numbers and figures presented
   in this document are for IPv4 [RFC-791], not IPv6 [RFC-1883].

2. Header compression

   Speech data for IP telephony will most likely be carried by RTP [RFC-
   1889].  A packet will then, in addition to link-layer framing, have
   an IP header (20 octets), a UDP header (8 octets), and an RTP header
   (12 octets) for a total of 40 octets. With IPv6, the IP header is 40
   octets for a total of 60 octets. The size of the payload depends on

Degermark, Hannu, Jonsson, Svanbro                              [Page 3]

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   the speech encoding used and the packet rate; it can be as low as 15-
   20 octets.

   From these numbers it is obvious that the header size must be reduced
   for efficiency reasons. A proposed standard for compressing
   RTP/UDP/IP headers over low-speed serial links, CRTP, has recently
   been approved by the IESG [RFC-2508, RFC-2507], together with a way
   to negotiate parameters for header compression over PPP [RFC-2509].
   With CRTP, compressed headers are as small as 2 octets if the UDP
   checksum is disabled.

   CRTP uses delta encoding where compressed headers carry differences
   from the previous header. The decompressor maintains state, known as
   the context, that represents what the header looks like, how it is
   expected to change, etc. The differences carried in each compressed
   packet updates the context, and thus loss of a packet will bring the
   context of the decompressor out of sync with the compressor as it is
   not updated correctly.

   CRTPs mechanism for bringing the decompressor context in sync with
   the compressor relies on messages from the decompressor reporting its
   state to the compressor. Such CONTEXT_STATE messages cause the
   compressor to send packets with more information in their headers to
   update the context of the decompressor: either FULL_HEADER packets
   with 40 octet headers (60 for IPv6), or COMPRESSED_NON_TCP packets
   with compressed UDP/IP headers but a complete RTP header. Headers in
   COMPRESSED_NON_TCP packets are 17 octets if the UDP checksum is
   disabled, and 19 octets otherwise (15 and 17 octets for IPv6,

   CRTP uses a link sequence number, incremented by one for each packet
   with a compressed header, to detect lost packets. The link sequence
   number ranges between 0 and 15. Gaps in the sequence number space
   triggers the context repair mechanism outlined in the previous

   High BERs will cause the repair mechanism to be triggered often,
   causing many FULL_HEADER packets or COMPRESSED_NON_TCP packets to be
   sent, which consume extra bandwidth. With a long roundtrip time over
   the link, each damaged packet can cause several subsequent packets to
   be discarded due to mismatching contexts.

   The "Twice" mechanism proposed for compressed TCP [RFC-793] headers
   in [RFC-2507] and also for CRTP in [RFC-2508] can often repair the
   context and avoid some of the loss caused by mismatching contexts.
   The assumption behind the "Twice" mechanism is that the delta of a
   lost CRTP packet is often the same as the delta of the subsequent
   packet. An attempt to repair the context by applying the delta twice
   will therefore often succeed. Successful repairs are detected by a
   matching transport-layer checksum.

Degermark, Hannu, Jonsson, Svanbro                              [Page 4]

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3. Link layers

   When evaluating CRTP, the link layer must be considered. We will use
   two different link layers. One is PPP in HDLC-like framing [RFC-
   1662], which has a 16/32-bit CRC covering the entire frame. This
   implies that all damaged frames will be discarded at the link layer
   since the checksum will fail. It is possible to change the networking
   code to have such frames delivered, but then it is pointless to have
   the checksum in the first place and a framing scheme without a
   checksum would be a better solution.

   For header compression purposes it is important that headers are not
   damaged over the link. As outlined in the introduction, however,
   damage to the payload is often acceptable to the (speech) decoder of
   the application. It would therefore make sense to have a checksum
   which only covers the header part of a packet. That should increase
   the number of headers seen by the decompressor and improve header
   compression performance. The second link layer we use for evaluation
   purposes is an imaginary such link layer, henceforth called the Link-
   Layer with Partial Checksum (LLPC).

3.1. PPP in HDLC-like framing (HDLC)

   PPP typically uses HDLC-like framing [RFC-1662]. With a 16-bit
   checksum and compressed Address and Control fields, frames carrying
   CRTP, COMPRESSED_NON_TCP, or FULL_HEADER packets have the following

           1          1                        2
      |   Flag   | Protocol | Information |   FCS    |   Flag   |
      | 01111110 |  8 bits  |      *      | 16 bits  | 01111110 |

   The Flag only occurs once between frames if they are sent back-to-
   back, so the amortized framing overhead is 4 octets per frame.  The
   checksum (FCS) is calculated over the Protocol field and the
   Information field (payload), but not the Flags or the checksum

   Any errors anywhere in the frame will cause the FCS to fail. The
   frame will then be discarded.

Degermark, Hannu, Jonsson, Svanbro                              [Page 5]

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3.2. Link-layer with partial checksum (LLPC)

   This is an imaginary framing scheme derived from the HDLC-format in
   3.1 by adding a one-octet Length field.

        1          1          1                        2
   |   Flag   |  Length  | Protocol | Information |   FCS   |   Flag   |
   | 01111110 |  8 bits  |  8 bits  |      *      | 16 bits | 01111110 |

   The Length field indicates how many octets of the payload that are
   covered by the FCS. It can have values from 0 to 255. The FCS covers
   the Length and Protocol field plus as many octets in the beginning of
   the Information field as indicated by the Length field. The value of
   the Length field must not make the FCS extend over the FCS field.
   When sending a FULL_HEADER packet, the Length field would have the
   value 40, since it should protect the IP, UDP, and RTP headers. When
   sending a minimal COMPRESSED_RTP packet, the Length field would have
   the value 2. The amortized framing overhead for LPC is 5 octets per

   Any errors in the Flag, Length, Protocol, FCS, or the initial Length
   octets of the Information field will cause the FCS to fail. The frame
   will then be discarded. Errors in the Information field after the
   first Length octets will not affect the FCS and will not cause the
   frame to be discarded.

4. Description of simulations

   Section 4.1 describes the simulated scenario and 4.2 elaborates on
   the properties of the cellular link and the back channel.

4.1. Simulated scenario

   A source generates RTP packets containing speech data and sends them
   across the Internet to an end-system. The end-system is connected to
   the Internet over a cellular link over which the RTP stream is
   compressed using CRTP.

Degermark, Hannu, Jonsson, Svanbro                              [Page 6]

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      Source                   point                 End-system
                                      _____ ________  +-------+
                                      / back channel\ |       |
      +----+                   +----+/               \+----+  |
      |    |--------->---------| HC |-------->--------| HD |  |
      +----+   Internet path   +----+  Cellular link  +----+  |
                 (loss)                               |       |

                       Figure 0: Simulated scenario

   Over the Internet path there are uniformly distributed losses which
   influence the efficiency of CRTP mechanisms, and especially the
   "Twice" mechanism.

   Over the Cellular link one of the framing protocols of section 3
   carry the packets. The radio channel of the cellular link is
   simulated accurately for various BERs and represents fairly bad, but
   realistic, conditions. The roundtrip time can be varied.

   The compressor (HC) at the compression point compresses RTP/UDP/IP
   headers according to CRTP, and sends them over the cellular link to
   the decompressor (HD). When HD detects that the context is out of
   sync, it will send CONTEXT_STATE messages back to HC over the back

   The speech source generates packets with payloads of a fixed size, 16
   octets (representing the smallest reasonable payload size), at a rate
   of 50 packets per second (20 ms worth of sound data per packet).
   Silence suppression is used. The lengths of talk spurts and the
   silent intervals between them are both exponentially distributed with
   an expected length of 1 second. Loss over the Internet path due to
   congestion is uniformly distributed. This loss pattern is reasonably
   accurate since packet intervals are relatively long compared to
   congestion related loss events.

4.2. The cellular link and the back channel

   The cellular link is simulated accurately using a realistic radio
   channel model [WCDMA] and adding channel coding. The reported bit
   error rates, BER, are always the BERs after channel coding, i.e., the
   BER seen by the link layer.

   The interesting BERs for cellular systems are in the range between
   1e-3 (1/1000) and 1e-6 (1/1000000). Circuit-switched cellular voice
   transmission can deliver acceptable speech quality down to around
   1e-2, while the systems become expensive at BERs much less than 1e-6.

Degermark, Hannu, Jonsson, Svanbro                              [Page 7]

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   The compressor repairs the decompressor context after feedback in the
   form of a CONTEXT_STATE message from the decompressor. This means
   that the roundtrip time over the link determines the speed of the
   repair mechanism.  The back channel used in our simulations never
   damages CONTEXT_STATE messages.

5. Frame error rates (FER)

   Frames can have errors due to damage over the link. This kind of
   damage can be further classified into

        a) header damage: damage to parts of the frame that are
           important for header compression purposes. This is the
           framing plus the compressed or full header.

        b) payload damage: damage to other parts of the frame. Such
           damage may or may not cause the frame to be unusable by the
           speech decoder, depending on the coding and the location of
           the damage. Also, it may or may not cause the entire frame
           to be discarded depending on the framing format.

   Frames can also be damaged because the decompressor fails to
   reconstruct a correct header. That can of course be caused by a), but
   also by

        c) context damage: the context of the decompressor being out of
           sync with the context of the compressor. This is caused by
           delta information being lost due to a) or b).

   For HDLC, both header damage and payload damage will cause the frame
   to be discarded, which will increase the rate of frames discarded due
   to context damage.

   For LLPC, payload damage will not cause the frame to be dropped
   before reaching the decompressor, which will reduce the number of
   frames discarded due to context damage.  Whether or not payload
   damage causes the frames to be unusable for generating speech is not
   related to header compression performance. We expect, however, that
   most speech decoders will be able to utilize information in frames
   with payload damage.

Degermark, Hannu, Jonsson, Svanbro                              [Page 8]

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6. Evaluation of CRTP for cellular radio links

6.1. An ideal header compression scheme

   In order to have a reference point, we first simulated an ideal
   header compression scheme. The ideal header compression scheme can
   always compress the header down to a total of 2 bytes and will never
   fail at decompression, i.e., no frames will ever be discarded due to
   context damage. Such a scheme is probably not achievable, but it
   gives us something to compare the real CRTP against.

             Figure 1: FER for Ideal scheme for HDLC and LLPC

   As can be seen in figure 1, for a BER of 1e-3 the FER is 1-2 % for
   both link layers. LLPC is marginally better. At 5e-3 there is a
   significant difference between HDLC (7.5% FER) and LLPC (4% FER).
   Loss over the Internet path does not affect the ideal header
   compression scheme at all, and is not included in the reported FER.

Degermark, Hannu, Jonsson, Svanbro                              [Page 9]

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   There is no context damage for the ideal scheme. The difference
   between the HDLC and LLPC curves show how many packets with payload
   damage only there are: around 0.3% for a BER of 1e-3.

   With some handwaving and contemplation of packet sizes and checksum
   coverage, one can argue that LLPC should give a FER which is roughly
   7/23 (30%) of the FER for HDLC if errors were uniformly distributed.
   They are not, however, and it seems that LLPC in fact gives FERs that
   are 55-60% of the FERs for HDLC.

6.2. CRTP without Twice

   With a roundtrip time over the link corresponding to around 120 ms (a
   realistic value), the slowness of the context repair mechanism will
   multiply link layer related loss by a large factor. Figure 2 shows
   CRTP performance for HDLC, while Figure 3 shows CRTP performance for
   LLPC. The ideal curves have been included for reference. The percent
   numbers indicate how much loss there were over the Internet path. The
   plots for CRTP with Twice are discussed in the next subsection.

   In figures 2 and 3 one can see that for a BER of 1e-3, CRTP gives a
   FER of 8% with HDLC while with LLPC the FER is 5%. Given the
   performance of the ideal scheme, it is clear that most of this loss
   is due to context damage.

   The average header size will increase with increasing loss over the
   Internet path, since the delta between consecutive packets will then
   often be different and more data need to be sent to represent the new
   delta. A single loss over the Internet path will typically cause the
   following two compressed headers to have three and two extra octets,
   respectively. When one out of 10 packets are lost over the Internet
   path, that would add 5 octets to the remaining 9 headers. The average
   header size then increases with 5/9 octets (0.56 octets).

   Figure 4 shows the average header size plotted against BERs, for
   varying loss over the Internet path. At low BERs, HDLC and LLPC both
   give an average header size of just over 2 octets when there is no
   loss over the Internet path. When there is 10% loss over the Internet
   path, both give an average header size just over 2.5 octets. This is
   consistent with the expected increases in header sizes due to
   different deltas after losses over the Internet path.

Degermark, Hannu, Jonsson, Svanbro                             [Page 10]

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        Figure 2: FER for CRTP, CRTP with Twice, and Ideal for HDLC

        Figure 3: FER for CRTP, CRTP with Twice, and Ideal for LLPC

Degermark, Hannu, Jonsson, Svanbro                             [Page 11]

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                  Figure 4: Average header size for CRTP

   At higher BERs the average header size is determined by the rate of
   COMPRESSED_NON_TCP headers (17 octets) sent over the cellular link.
   CRTP compressors update the context state by sending such headers
   whenever frames have been discarded over the cellular link. The
   differences between the HDLC and LLPC curves at high BERs is due to
   their different FERs. For a BER of 1e-3 and no Internet loss, CRTP
   with HDLC gives an average header size of 2.7 octets, while CRTP with
   LLPC gives 2.5 octets. For 10% Internet loss, HDLC gives 3.2 octets
   and LLPC 3.0 octets.

6.3. CRTP with Twice

   The Twice algorithm is a way to repair the context quickly without
   having to wait for a roundtrip over the link. Twice makes assumptions
   of what the lost delta was and tries to repair the context according
   to those assumptions. When using Twice there must be a way to check
   whether the repair succeeded, typically the UDP checksum is used for
   that purpose.

   The plots in figure 2 show FERs for CRTP, CRTP with Twice, and the
   Ideal scheme, when HDLC framing is used. The CRTP with Twice curves
   really show how successful Twice would be in repairing the context,
   we have not actually enabled the UDP checksum in our simulations, but

Degermark, Hannu, Jonsson, Svanbro                             [Page 12]

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   instead we determined whether Twice would have succeeded.  We wanted
   to try out LLPC too (figure 3), and as the UDP checksum covers the
   entire payload and is fairly weak, that scenario wouldn't make much
   sense using the UDP checksum. Instead we chose to investigate how
   successful Twice would be if there were some other means to detect a
   successful repair.

   It is evident from figure 2 that Twice improves the FER
   significantly, although CRTP with Twice is still much worse than the
   Ideal scheme. At a BER of 1e-3, the FERs are less than 2% for Ideal,
   about 4% for CRTP with Twice, and 8% for CRTP. More sophisticated
   implementations of Twice might get closer to the Ideal curve.

   Figure 3 shows FERs for CRTP, CRTP with Twice, and the Ideal scheme,
   when LLPC framing is used. The FERs are lower than for HDLC because
   fewer frames are discarded at the link layer, but the plots are
   otherwise similar.

6.4. Loss patterns

   For applications such as interactive voice it is not only the loss
   *rate* that is interesting. Typical voice decoders will reuse earlier
   frames when a frame is lost, but might decrease the intensity with
   which that frame is played out. For each successive loss the
   intensity is decreased such that after a few consecutive lost frames
   the sound will fade out completely. When only single frames are lost,
   the tolerable FER might be high. A single burst of lost frames, on
   the other hand, can cause a very noticeable pause. Figure 5 shows a
   histogram over the number of consecutive loss bursts of certain
   lengths for CRTP, with and without Twice, for three different BERs.

   It is evident from figures 5a and 5b that the majority of loss events
   without Twice are such that around 7 consecutive frames are lost. The
   link roundtrip time in these simulations was 120 ms and the packet
   rate 50 packets per second, which means that a single discarded frame
   would cause 6 additional frames to be lost due to context damage.
   When there is little loss over the Internet path, Twice (or variants)
   are very efficient since deltas rarely change.

   At higher BERs, COMPRESSED_NON_TCP packets are sent often and thus
   lengths of frame loss bursts are less regular. Updates may be
   damaged, and an earlier repair may cause an update which repairs new

Degermark, Hannu, Jonsson, Svanbro                             [Page 13]

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         Figure 5a: Lengths of frame loss bursts, HDLC, no IP loss

Degermark, Hannu, Jonsson, Svanbro                             [Page 14]

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        Figure 5b: Lengths of frame loss bursts, HDLC, 10% IP loss

Degermark, Hannu, Jonsson, Svanbro                             [Page 15]

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   Loss bursts involving 7-8 frames are clearly noticeable for most
   voice decoders. This is a major disadvantage of using CRTP over high-
   loss links with nontrivial link roundtrip times. Even if the frame
   rate was one per 30 ms and the link roundtrip time was only 60 ms the
   typical loss burst would be 3-4 frames (one discarded at link level,
   next discovers damage, update requested, update sent), which would
   decrease the voice quality significantly.

6.5. Using only COMPRESSED_NON_TCP packets

   The high FERs for CRTP makes it interesting to compare its
   performance against sending COMPRESSED_NON_TCP packets only. Their
   headers are 17 octets. No frames are discarded due to context damage,
   but on the other hand it is more likely that a packet will be damaged
   because it is larger.

         Figure 6: FER for COMPRESSED_NON_TCP only, HDLC and LLPC

Degermark, Hannu, Jonsson, Svanbro                             [Page 16]

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   Figure 6 shows the FER when sending COMPRESSED_NON_TCP packets only,
   for HDLC and LLPC. For HDLC, the FER when the BER is 1e-3 is 3%,
   which is more than for the Ideal scheme (<2%) but less than CRTP with
   Twice (5%). The FER for LLPC is just over 2% and similarly to HDLC,
   it is more than the Ideal scheme but less than CRTP with Twice.

6.6. Using periodic refreshes instead of requests

   One alternative to the use of context updates on request could be to
   periodically refresh the context as suggested in CRTP [RFC-2508] for
   simplex links or links with high delay. However, to decrease the
   packet loss rate due to context invalidation, the periodic refresh
   method must update the context faster than the request based scheme,
   which means that the compression slow-start mechanism described in IP
   Header Compression [RFC-2507] would not be suitable. Instead, the
   periodic refreshes must be sent with a shorter period than the link
   round-trip time. Periodic refreshes could therefore be seen as a
   solution somewhere between the ordinary request-based CRTP and the
   completely difference-free solution used in 6.5, with only

   The periodic refresh model evaluated here makes use of the
   COMPRESSED_RTP and the COMPRESSED_NON_TCP packet types.
   COMPRESSED_NON_TCP is used for every third and every fourth packet
   respectively in two different simulations, the rest are
   COMPRESSED_RTP. Figures 7 and 8 respectively show the packet loss
   rates and header sizes for this scheme (both with refresh period
   three and four) together with results for the ordinary CRTP and the
   Ideal scheme. As shown in figure 7, the packet loss rate is
   significantly decreased to about half as much as for the ordinary
   solution, but it is still much higher than for the Ideal scheme. The
   average header size on the other hand is increased about three times
   to between six and seven octets.

   A conclusion that could be drawn from this experiment is that a
   periodic refreshing scheme would be costly in terms of header size if
   it is supposed to improve the packet loss rate over links with a
   round-trip time of 100-150 ms. With even longer RTT's, periodic
   refreshes could be suitable, while for shorter RTT's the solution
   would have no advantages over the request based scheme.

Degermark, Hannu, Jonsson, Svanbro                             [Page 17]

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           Figure 7: FER for CRTP with periodic refreshes, LLPC

       Figure 8: Header sizes for CRTP with periodic refreshes, LLPC

Degermark, Hannu, Jonsson, Svanbro                             [Page 18]

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7. Conclusions

   The packet loss rate of CRTP, CRTP with Twice, and the Ideal header
   compression scheme is summarized in table 1 for various error rates.
   The numbers are for HDLC-like framing, i.e., errors in any part of a
   packet means that it is discarded. The payload is 16 octets. The
   Ideal scheme discards packets only when the packet itself is damaged.

             Bit-error rate    1e-5   1e-4   1e-3   1e-2
             Ideal               0    0.4%   1.8%   11%
             CRTP+Twice          0    1.0%   5.0%   24%
             CRTP                0    1.5%   8.0%   40%

      Table 1: Frame loss rates of header compression schemes (HDLC).

   It is evident from table 1 that CRTP performs well for BERs less than
   1e-5, but not so well for BERs higher than 1e-4. If one considers a
   scenario where the path of an IP telephony conversation has a
   cellular link at both ends, the packet loss rates of CRTP and
   CRTP+Twice become intolerable at high BERs.

   The major cause of CRTPs bad performance is that many packets are
   discarded due to context damage while waiting a link roundtrip time
   for the repair mechanism.

   Twice is a way to repair the context locally. It requires two extra
   octets of header (the UDP checksum) to verify its repair attempts.
   These two extra octets make it a less attractive solution. Moreover,
   the straightforward Twice used in this evaluation does not have a
   sufficiently high success rate. Combinations of link-loss at a first
   cellular link and congestion-related loss in the rest of the path
   will ensure that the compressor at the last cellular link will see
   many holes in the packet stream. Twice will then fail often.
   Moreover, the UDP checksum is too weak to reliably determine the
   success or failure of attempted repairs.

   The losses induced by CRTP and its variations are problematic not
   only because they are high. The loss patterns are such that losses
   occur in groups longer than a link roundtrip time. This is
   problematic for low-bandwidth voice codecs, who cannot mask such long
   loss events well. Hence, the speech quality will suffer. It is a
   major disadvantage of CRTP that it causes such long loss events.

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   It is worth noticing that link layers which protect the header with
   strong checksums, but not the payload, will decrease the packet-loss
   rate significantly. Such link-layers will deliver more headers to the
   decompressor and context damage will be less frequent. Table 2
   summarizes the results for such a link-layer.

             Bit-error rate    1e-5   1e-4   1e-3   1e-2
             Ideal               0    0.3%   1.4%     7%
             CRTP+Twice          0    0.8%   4.2%    18%
             CRTP                0    1.1%   5.0%    25%

      Table 2: Frame loss rates of header compression schemes (LLPC).

   Overall, the improvement in FER were around 40% with a payload of 16
   octets. When the payload is larger, the improvement will be higher.
   In addition to the benefits for header compression, speech codecs for
   lossy links can utilize information in damaged payloads and will
   deliver higher quality speech when they have access to damaged

   To summarize, CRTP does not perform well over lossy links with long
   roundtrip times. Twice can improve the situation somewhat but the
   loss is still too high. A disadvantage of using Twice is that it
   requires that the UDP checksum is enabled, which will double the size
   of the compressed header. CRTP with Twice performs much worse than
   the Ideal scheme in terms of packet loss. Because the UDP checksum is
   fairly weak, Twice should not be extended to attempt a large number
   of repairs. Because of this, CRTP with Twice cannot approach the
   performance of the Ideal scheme.

7.1. How to improve CRTP performance.

   The link roundtrip time should be kept low. When it is high, local
   repairs of the contex (without going over the link) is essential.
   Sophisticated versions of Twice should be considered, which implies
   that the UDP checksum must be enabled. Unfortunately, that adds 2
   octets to the compressed header.

Degermark, Hannu, Jonsson, Svanbro                             [Page 20]

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8. Author's Addresses

     Mikael Degermark             Tel:    +46 920 911 88
     Dept of CS & EE, Lulea       Mobile: +46 70 833 89 33
     University of Technology     EMail:  micke@sm.luth.se

     Hans Hannu                   Tel:    +46 920 20 21 84
     Ericsson Erisoft AB          Mobile: +46 70 378 04 73
     Lulea, Sweden                EMail:  hans.hannu@ericsson.com

     Lars-Erik Jonsson            Tel:    +46 920 20 21 07
     Ericsson Erisoft AB          Mobile: +46 70 365 20 58
     Lulea, Sweden                EMail:  lars-erik.jonsson@ericsson.com

     Krister Svanbro              Tel:    +46 920 20 20 77
     Ericsson Erisoft AB          Mobile: +46 70 531 25 08
     Lulea, Sweden                EMail:  krister.svanbro@lu.erisoft.se

9. References

   [RFC-768]   J. Postel, User Datagram Protocol, RFC 768, August 1980.

   [RFC-791]   J. Postel, Internet Protocol, RFC 791, September 1981.

   [RFC-793]   J. Postel, Transmission Control Protocol, RFC 793,
               September 1981.

   [RFC-1144]  V. Jacobson, Compressing TCP/IP Headers for Low-Speed
               Serial Links, RFC 1144, February 1990.

   [RFC-1662]  W. Simpson, PPP in HDLC-like framing, RFC 1662, 1994.

   [RFC-1883]  S. Deering, R. Hinden, Internet Protocol, Version 6
               (IPv6) Specification, RFC 1883, December 1995.

   [RFC-1889]  Henning Schulzrinne, Stephen Casner, Ron Frederick, Van
               Jacobson, RTP: A Transport Protocol for Real-Time
               Applications, RFC 1889, January 1996.

   [RFC-2507]  M. Degermark, B. Nordgren, S. Pink, IP header
               compression, RFC 2507, February 1999.

   [RFC-2508]  S. Casner, V. Jacobson, Compressing IP/UDP/RTP Headers
               for Low-Speed Serial Links, RFC 2508, February 1999.

   [RFC-2509]  M. Engan, S. Casner, C. Bormann, IP Header Compression
               for PPP, RFC 2509, February 1999.

   [WCDMA]     Procedures for Evaluation of Transmission Technologies
               for FPLMTS, ITU-R TG8-1, 8-1/TEMP/233-E, September 1995.

Degermark, Hannu, Jonsson, Svanbro                             [Page 21]

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This Internet-Draft expires in June 2000.

Degermark, Hannu, Jonsson, Svanbro                             [Page 22]

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