An Experimental Cross-Layer Approach to Improve the Vertical Handover Procedure in Heterogeneous Wireless Networks

Rosario G. Garroppo, Stefano Giordano, Stefano Lucetti, Giuseppe Risi, Luca Tavanti


Users of next generation wireless devices will be likely to move across a heterogeneous network environment. Thiswill give them the possibility to always exploit the best connection to the global Internet. In order to keep a seamless connection, the handover between different access technologies, also known as vertical handover, must be as smooth as possible. The current evolution of network architectures toward an all-IP core favours the use of the Mobile IPv6 protocol to handle such handovers. However, this protocol still presents several drawbacks, mainly related to the assumption of static devices and wired connections. Hence we have designed and implemented a software module that exploits information from the lower layers (e.g. physical) to extend the capabilities of Mobile IPv6 to wireless environments. We have then evaluated both the plain Mobile IPv6 and our proposed implementation over an experimental testbed. The outcome of the assessment proves the effectiveness of our solution and reveals the possibility to perform a seamless vertical handover in heterogeneous wireless networks.


Mobile IPv6, vertical handover, handover decision, IEEE 802.11 WLAN

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