NetMob 2023 Data Challenge

The NetMob 2023 Data Challenge is a competition aiming at deriving and exploiting insights from massive mobile service consumption information. Proposals should address one of the following three topics.

Understanding social challenges through the lenses of mobile service usage. Is the spatiotemporal consumption of mobile apps linked with major challenges that modern societies are facing today, such as different types of segregation and divides, misinformation, extremism, or polarization? What are the causal relationships between such links? And, can the monitoring of aggregate and privacy-preserving app usage by mobile network operators help disclose and pinpoint (e.g., geographically) such problems as they emerge? We call for innovative studies investigating potential connections between mobile traffic and society.

Generating reliable datasets of synthetic mobile data traffic. Access to mobile data traffic is not uniform and generally scant in the research community; as a result, the potential of such data to feed innovation is curbed, and current research based on it is not reproducible or verifiable. To overcome this data access barrier, we call for models capable of accurately reproducing the challenge dataset from publicly available information, and that can be used to generate large amounts of high-fidelity synthetic traffic in arbitrary regions.

Automating network management with data-driven intelligence. Data-driven solutions will play an increasingly important role in the beyond-5G mobile network ecosystem, and machine learning models have been proven to yield promising performance in many complex network management tasks, including forecasting of mobile demand and throughput, infrastructure planning, orchestration of network slices, classification of flow-level traffic or control of virtualized RAN resources. We call for original algorithms that can take advantage of the large-scale challenge dataset to demonstrate their operation with real-world demands and their generalizability to heterogeneous network and traffic settings.

How to participate in the challenge?

Challenge format:

  • Prospective participants shall apply to the challenge in order to get access to the dataset. Access to the dataset can be requested in this same page.
  • Admitted participants shall submit two-page extended abstracts in PDF format including title, author(s), affiliation(s) and email address(es) on the first page, describing their preliminary results from the dataset analysis by June 30, 2023.
  • Selected participants will be invited to submit by September 22, 2023 a final report consisting of:
    • a complete document without page limits that will be kept confidential, and used to select the challenge awardees as well as to take a final decision on whether the work will be presented at the conference as a talk or a poster; and,
    • 2-page summary of the work that will appear in the public NetMob 2023 Book of Abstracts.

Important dates
  • Challenge launch: May 12, 2023
  • Abstract submission opening: June 1 June 26, 2023
  • Abstract submission deadline: June 30 July 7, 2023 AoE
  • Notification of acceptance: July 21, 2023
  • Final report deadline: September 22, 2023
  • Presentation in the conference: October 6, 2023

Participants shall not carry out activities that involve unethical usage of the data, including attempts at re-identifying data subjects, harming individuals, or damaging companies.

Participants will be allowed to submit full versions of their works (e.g., the confidential complete document provided as part of the final report) to venues of their choice, after the Challenge award announcement.

Dataset description

  • 20 urban areas in France
  • 68 mobile services
  • 77 days continuous days
  • 100 x 100 m2 spatial resolution
  • 15 minute temporal resolution
  • 400+ billion data points
  • 2.3+ TB of data

All papers employing the dataset must cite the report above as:

@misc{netmob23, title={The NetMob23 dataset: A high-resolution multi-region service-level mobile data traffic cartography}, author={Martínez-Durive, Orlando E and Mishra, Sachit and Ziemlicki, Cezary and Rubrichi, Stefania and Smoreda, Zbigniew and Fiore, Marco}, year={2023}, eprint={2305.06933}, archivePrefix={arXiv}, primaryClass={cs.NI} }

Martínez-Durive, O. E., Mishra, S., Ziemlicki, C., Rubrichi, S., Smoreda, Z., & Fiore, M. (2023). The NetMob23 dataset: A high-resolution multi-region service-level mobile data traffic cartography. arXiv preprint arXiv:2305.06933. Retrieved from

Martínez-Durive O E, Mishra S, Ziemlicki C, Rubrichi S, Smoreda Z, Fiore M. The NetMob23 dataset: A high-resolution multi-region service-level mobile data traffic cartography. arXiv:2305.06933 [cs.NI]. 2023.

Request extension to data usage

Participants can ask for an extension to use the NetMob 2023 Data Challenge dataset below, using the same credentials employed to log in for data access. Participants that are granted this extension can use of the data until Oct 6, 2025.


The NetMob 2023 Data Challenge is organized with the support of the following institutions and research projects:

  • NetSense (Network Sensing), grant no. 2019-T1/TIC-16037 funded by Comunidad de Madrid.
  • CoCo5G (Traffic Collection, Contextual Analysis. Data-driven Optimization for 5G), grant no. ANR-22-CE25-0016, funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR)

European Union Flag This initiative has received funding from the European union's horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 101017109.