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The 3G mobile data network provides always-on and ubiquitous connectivity for subscribers. Although the service coverage area in wireless local area network (WLAN) is much smaller than that in a 3G mobile data network, the data transmission rate in WLAN can be from 2 to 54 Mbps, which is much faster than 3G mobile network. Obviously, the relationship between the 3G mobile data network and WLAN is complementary in terms of service coverage and data transmission rate. Therefore integration of 3G mobile network and WLAN can offer subscribers higher speed wireless service in hot spots and ubiquitous connectivity in 3G mobile data network. An authentication mechanism over the loose coupled integration mechanism using a cross-layer bootstrap is proposed. The benefits of the proposed mechanism are (a) integrating Universal Mobile Telecommunication System network and WLAN using the existing protocols denned in 3GPP, IETF and IEEE 802. Hi, (b) the use of the Extension Authentication Protocol authentication method is flexible, (c) reduction of the authentication signalling when a subscriber roams from one access point (AP) to another AP and (d) user identity privacy protection.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2007