Skip to Main Content
This paper addresses the problem of optimal vertical handoff (VHO) in a vehicular network setting. The VHO objective can be minimizing the data transfer time or alternatively minimizing the cost of transmitting traffic. As a framework for performance evaluations, we first analyze a heterogeneous network consisting of a wide-area cellular network interworking with wireless local area networks (WLAN) with fixed inter-distance between access points (APs) placed along roadsides. We further analyze a scenario with random inter-distance between WLAN APs. In both aforementioned cases, only Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) capability is assumed. We show that in order to minimize the cost of transmission or alternatively transmission time, performing VHOs is an appropriate choice at lower speeds, whereas it would be better to avoid VHO and stay in the cellular network at higher speeds. We further generalize our study, to investigate the VHO strategies in a random inter-distance scenario with both V2I and Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communication capabilities. We demonstrate that the combination of WLAN plus cellular plus ad hoc networking outperforms any other networking strategies considered in this work in terms of transmission times and transmission costs. The presented results provide insightful guidelines for optimal VHO decision making based on the characteristics of the network as well as the user mobility profile.