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Kostas Pentikousis

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Publication Details

P. Neves, S. Sargento, R. Matos, G. Landi, K. Pentikousis, M. Curado, F. Fontes, "A WiMAX Cross-Layer Framework for Next Generation Networks", Chapter 11 in M. Katz and F. H.P. Fitzek (Eds.) WiMAX Evolution: Emerging Technologies and Applications, Chichester, West Sussex, UK: Wiley, 2009, pp. 199-225. ISBN: 978-0-470-69680-4.

Abstract—Ubiquitous Internet access is one of the main challenges for the telecommunications industry. The number of users accessing the Internet is growing at a very fast pace. At the same time, the average customer uses more than one device to connect to the Internet, and downloads and uploads digital media of an unprecedented magnitude. The network access paradigm of "always connected, anytime, anywhere" is a central requirement for next generation networks.

Such a requirement places a tall order to operators that ought to find ways to provide broadband connectivity to their subscribers independently of their location and access device. Furthermore, the popularity for high-bandwidth services (including those arising from social networking sites) and other demanding multimedia applications is expected to continue to increase. IEEE 802.16 and the WiMAX Forum network architecture extensions provide an attractive solution for this type of next generation network environments. WiMAX is a Point-to-MultiPoint (PTMP) technology, providing high throughputs, and it is oriented for Wireless Metropolitan Area Networks (WMANs). The built-in Quality of Service (QoS) functionalities through the use of unidirectional connections and service flows between Base Stations (BS) and Subscriber Stations (SS) are also an important feature provided by this wireless technology.

Another aspect of next generation networks is the seamless integration of heterogeneous network technologies. Future network architectures will provide seamless QoS support, mobility and security, among other features, which are crucial for the success of the future networks. Taking into account the convergence scenario envisioned in the telecommunications area, it is essential that different access technologies, wired and wireless, are able to work together, allowing mobile users to handover between them seamlessly. In this sense, in order to integrate WiMAX technology in next generation environments, one needs to support a cross-layer framework that enables seamless communication between WiMAX and other access technologies, as well as with the QoS, security and mobility management protocols.

IEEE has been working on a standard which enables Media Independent Handovers - (MIH). The IEEE 802.21 standard is expected to be ratified during 2008 and its main objective is to assist in optimizing mobility processes through a set of services and interfaces that can be used in standard way for different wired and wireless technologies and higher-layer mobility management protocols. Media independent handovers and radio detail abstraction mechanisms have been explored in the research literature for some time and with IEEE 802.21 finalized it is expected that these concepts will play a dominant role in the integration of different technologies in future networks. In this chapter we present a cross-layer framework that seamlessly integrates WiMAX in heterogeneous next generation networks. We concentrate on QoS and mobility aspects and explain how Next Steps in Signalling (NSIS) and IEEE 802.21 can be taken advantage of and integrated with the specifics of WiMAX technology in terms of service flow QoS provisioning and mobility management messages. This framework allows for standards-based end-to-end QoS support and seamless mobility management. The foundation of this framework is the architecture designed in the European WEIRD project. A prototype implementation of this framework has already been evaluated in the project's testbeds.

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TagsNetworks, Applications
Project—WEIRD (6/2006-5/2008). More »

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Last updated: 22.11.2009