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2 Author(s)
E. Gustafsson ; Ericsson Res., Stockholm, Sweden ; A. Jonsson

Over the last few years, we have experienced a variety of access technologies being deployed. While 2G cellular systems evolve into 3G systems such as UMTS or cdma2000, providing worldwide coverage, wireless LAN solutions have been extensively deployed to provide hotspot high-bandwidth Internet access in airports, hotels, and conference centers. At the same time, fixed access such as DSL and cable modem tied to wireless LANs appear in home and office environments. The always best connected (ABC) concept allows a person connectivity to applications using the devices and access technologies that best suit his or her needs, thereby combining the features of access technologies such as DSL, Bluetooth, and WLAN with cellular systems to provide an enhanced user experience for 2.5G, 3G, and beyond. An always best connected scenario, where a person is allowed to choose the best available access networks and devices at any point in time, generates great complexity and a number of requirements, not only for the technical solutions, but also in terms of business relationships between operators and service providers, and in subscription handling. This article describes the concept of being always best connected, discusses the user experience and business relationships in an ABC environment, and outlines the different aspects of an ABC solution that will broaden the technology and business base of 3G.

Published in:

IEEE Wireless Communications  (Volume:10 ,  Issue: 1 )