The SIGMOBILE Test-of-Time awards recognize papers that have had a sustained and significant impact in the SIGMOBILE community over at least a decade. The award recognizes that a paper's influence is often not fully apparent at the time of publication, and it can be best judged with the perspective of time.
The prize was awarded for the work "Network Information Flow", 46(4), IEEE Transactions on Information Theory (Rudolf Ahlswede, Ning Cai, Shuo-Yen Robert Li and Raymond W. Yeung, July 2000).
This is the seminal work on network coding that had a profound impact on the networking and mobile systems communities. The information theoretic analysis led to significant academic work for more than a decade in the networking community on leveraging network coding to build systems that achieve higher reliability and throughput.