Internet technologies largely succeed in overcoming the barriers of time and distance,
existing Internet technologies have yet to fully accommodate the increasing mobile
computer usage. A promising technology used to eliminate this current barrier
is Mobile IP. The emerging 3G mobile networks are set to make a huge difference
to the international business community. 3G networks will provide sufficient bandwidth
to run most of the business computer applications while still providing a reasonable
networks are not based on only one standard, but a set of radio technology standards
such as cdma2000, EDGE and WCDMA. It is easy to foresee that the mobile user from
time to time also would like to connect to fixed broadband networks, wireless
LANs and, mixtures of new technologies such as Bluetooth associated to e.g. cable
TV and DSL access points.
In this light, a
common macro mobility management framework is required in order to allow mobile
users to roam between different access networks with little or no manual intervention.
(Micro mobility issues such as radio specific mobility enhancements are supposed
to be handled within the specific radio technology.) IETF has created the Mobile
IP standard for this purpose.
Mobile IP is
different compared to other efforts for doing mobility management in the sense
that it is not tied to one specific access technology. In earlier mobile cellular
standards, such as GSM, the radio resource and mobility management was integrated
vertically into one system. The same is also true for mobile packet data standards
such as CDPD, Cellular Digital Packet Data and the internal packet data mobility
protocol (GTP/MAP) of GPRS/UMTS networks. This vertical mobility management property
is also inherent for the increasingly popular 802.11 Wireless LAN standard.
Mobile IP can be seen as the least common mobility denominator - providing seamless
macro mobility solutions among the diversity of accesses. Mobile IP is defining
a Home Agent as an anchor point with which the mobile client always has a relationship,
and a Foreign Agent, which acts as the local tunnel-endpoint at the access network
where the mobile client is visiting. Depending on which network the mobile client
is currently visiting; its point of attachment Foreign Agent) may change. At each
point of attachment, Mobile IP either requires the availability of a standalone
Foreign Agent or the usage of a Co-located care-of address in the mobile client
The concept of "Mobility"
or "packet data mobility", means different things depending on what
context the word is used within. In a wireless or fixed environment, there are
many different ways of implementing partial or full mobility and roaming services.
The most common ways of implementing mobility (discrete mobility or IP roaming
service) support in today's IP networking environments includes simple "PPP
dial-up" as well as company internal mobility solutions implemented by means
of renewal of IP address at each new point of attachment. The most commonly deployed
way of supporting remote access users in today's Internet is to utilize the public
telephone network (fixed or mobile) and to use the PPP dial-up functionality.
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