Fast and Efficient IP Handover in IEEE 802.11 Wireless LANs

TitleFast and Efficient IP Handover in IEEE 802.11 Wireless LANs
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsBouras, C, Sampraku, I, Karoubalis, T
Conference NameThe 2004 International Conference on Wireless Networks (ICWN 04), Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Date Published21 - 24 June

This paper presents an effective and simple solution to the problem of Layer 3 (L3) handover in IEEE 802.11 wireless LANs (WLANs), so as to extend the IP mobility area of 802.11 wireless Stations (STAs). The IEEE 802.11f Inter-Access Point Protocol (IAPP), handles the Layer 2 (L2) mobility of STAs during L2 (intra-network) handovers, and offers IP connectivity via L2 specific methods. Instead of using a different protocol for the L3 mobility management of STAs, such as Mobile IP (MIP) [4] or a MIP-variant, the IAPP protocol is extended so as to also support the inter-network (L3) movements of 802.11 STAs. The proposed IAPP-based mechanism supports host mobility and offers substantial uninterrupted wireless IP-connectivity, even after L3 movements. The cornerstones of this mechanism are the zero-delay IP movement detection and the zero over-the-air IP signaling during IP handover establishment, which lead to seamless (very fast) and smooth IP handoffs. This fast IP-handoff method is especially suitable to 802.11 systems, as it has better performance than traditional MIP-based methods (shorter handover delays, near zero packet loss), while makes IP roaming transparent to the mobile STAs.