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IP technology will play a key role in beyond 3G systems, which face the great challenge of integration so as to provide seamless services to users anywhere and anytime. Apart from its natural role as a unifier, IP also comprises the main drive for network evolution towards all-IP network infrastructures. In this regard, we exploit IP as an enabler for the evolution of the UMTS packet-switched core network, eliminating its duality at user and transport level. We focus on mobility management in the core network, which is handled by pure IP mechanisms, and on the support of fast handoff across UMTS access networks by means of a hybrid Fast and Hierarchical Mobile IPv6 (F/HMIPv6) proposal. Emphasis is also put on identifying the proper points of interaction between the F/HMIPv6 operation and the UMTS-specific serving radio network subsystem (SRNS) relocation procedure in order to provide a seamless handoff service to the user while not compromising the network's performance and scalability.