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Handoffs in fourth generation heterogeneous networks

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3 Author(s)
Nasser, N. ; Guelph Univ., Ont. ; Hasswa, A. ; Hassanein, H.

As mobile wireless networks increase in popularity and pervasiveness, we are faced with the challenge of combining a diverse number of wireless networks. The fourth generation of wireless communications is expected to integrate a potentially large number of heterogeneous wireless technologies in what could be considered a huge step forward toward universal seamless access. One of the main challenges for seamless mobility is the availability of reliable horizontal (intrasystem) and vertical (intersystem) handoff schemes. Efficient handoff schemes enhance quality of service and provide flawless mobility. This article presents different and novel aspects of handoff and discusses handoff related issues of fourth generation systems. Desirable handoff features are presented. Handoff decisions, radio link transfer, and channel assignment are described as stages of the complete handoff process. A vertical handoff decision function, which enables devices to assign weights to different network parameters, is also presented

Published in:

Communications Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:44 ,  Issue: 10 )