Kostas Pentikousis

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Publication Details

E. Piri and K. Pentikousis, "IEEE 802.21: Media Independent Handover Services", The Internet Protocol Journal, vol 12, no. 2, June 2009, pp. 7-27.

Summary—Popular mobile devices now ship with several integrated wired and wireless network interfaces. PDAs and smartphones, for example, are increasingly supporting communications via both cellular technologies and wireless LANs; laptops typically come with built-in Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. As multiaccess devices proliferate, we move closer to a network environment that is often referred to as "beyond 3G" (B3G). Key success factors for cellular 3G communications include better cell capacities, increased data rates, seamless mobility within large geographical areas, and global reachability. For B3G, the next frontier lies beyond seamless mobile connections within the same access technology as users will expect to be globally reachable anytime, anywhere, and remain "always best-connected" (ABC). In order to select the best possible connectivity option (anytime, anywhere), mobile devices and access networks will have to work together in order to enable users to make the most of all available options.

The IEEE 802.21 working group (see www.ieee802.org/21) recently finalized the first standard for dealing with handovers in heterogeneous networks, also referred to as media-independent handovers (MIH). The standard is expected to allow mobile users (and operators) to take full advantage of overlapping and diverse access networks. It provides a framework for efficiently discovering networks in range and executing intelligent heterogeneous handovers, based on their respective capabilities and current link conditions. This article aims to serve as a primer for those interested in the IEEE 802.21 standard. After introducing the IEEE 802.21 reference model, we present the MIH services and provide illustrative use cases that highlight the benefits of employing the Media Independent Handover Services standard in heterogeneous networks.
Full Paperpdf, IPJ archive
TagsMultiaccess, Mobility triggers, Mobile computing
Project—WEIRD (6/2006-5/2008). More »

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Last updated: 22.11.2009