Journal on spesial topics in mobile networks and applications
No single wireless network technology simultaneously provides a low latency, high bandwidth, wide area data service to a large number of mobile users. Wireless Overlay Networks -a hierarchical structure of room-size, building-size, and wide area data networks -solve the problem of providing network connectivity to a large number of mobile users in an efficient and scalable way. The specific topology of cells and the wide variety of network technologies that comprise wireless overlay networks
... sent new problems that have not been encountered in previous cellular handoff systems. We have implemented a vertical handoff system that allows users to roam between cells in wireless overlay networks. Our goal is to provide a user with the best possible connectivity for as long as possible with a minimum of disruption during handoff. Results of our initial implementation show that the handoff latency is bounded by the discovery time, the amount of time before the mobile host discovers that it has moved into or out of a new wireless overlay. This discovery time is measured in seconds: large enough to disrupt reliable transport protocols such as TCP and introduce significant disruptions in continuous multimedia transmission. To efficiently support applications that cannot tolerate these disruptions, we present enhancements to the basic scheme that significantly reduce the discovery time without assuming any knowledge about specific channel characteristics. For handoffs between room-size and building-size overlays, these enhancements lead to a best-case handoff latency of approximately 170 ms with a 1.5% overhead in terms of network resources. For handoffs between building-size and wide-area data networks, the best-case handoff latency is approximately 800 ms with a similarly low overhead.