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Running cellular/PWLAN services: practical considerations for cellular/PWLAN architecture supporting interoperator roaming

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4 Author(s)

To offer wireless data access services that are more efficient than GPRS or UMTS networks, public WLANs are in a predominant position to embrace the wireless broadband era. Reusing the existing mechanisms for user authentication, access control, billing, and roaming handling procedures in mobile territory to construct a complementary network, public WLAN (PWLAN) has drawn the attention of cellular operators such as Vodafone and T-Mobile. In this article we aim to investigate a practical end-to-end PWLAN architecture capable of using GPRS/UMTS SIM-based authentication for current mobile users and carrying out Web-based authentication for occasional users without SIM modules simultaneously. Additionally, we consider a confederation of various PWLAN service providers by a RADIUS-based roaming mechanism to leverage the existing resources of cellular operators. The proposed considerations and guidelines provide a baseline skeleton to build an extendable environment and successfully construct a flexible cellular/PWLAN hotspot in mobeeLAN service.

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Communications Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:44 ,  Issue: 2 )