An overlay and distributed approach to node mobility in multi-access wireless networks
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Nowadays many manufacturers are building mobile devices with multiple interfaces. Thus, users have access to different types of wireless access networks, which often, as for WLAN and cellular systems, coexists independently. The challenge is to make such multiple access networks to cooperate to have ubiquitous access and enhanced user quality of service. In this paper we present a scheme to allow inter-technology mobility by the introduction of an overlay network, which works on top of current (and future) networks. The proposed architecture controls all the aspect related to the mobility management: mobile node localization, handover decision and execution. The approach is distributed: it is the mobile node that decides which network to use, based on the offered service quality and the cost of the communication of the available networks, and triggers the handover execution directly to the corresponding host, using optimized SIP-based procedures. The overlay network copes with the mobile node localization. We implemented our solution in the laboratory to prove its validity and to test performance using real equipment. We also simulated the scheme using ns-3 to extend the evaluation to large scale deployments. In both test environments, our solution demonstrates high accurateness in selecting the network with the best quality as well as in supporting seamless vertical handover.
KeywordsHeterogeneous networks Vertical handover VoIP SIP Overlay networks
This work has been made possible through joint collaboration with Cisco Advanced Architecture & Research Group and has been partially funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation under grant TEC2011-29700-C02-01 (project SYMBIOSIS) and by the Generalitat de Catalunya under grant 2009-SGR-940.
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