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The smooth handoff supported by the route optimization extension to the mobile IP standard protocol should support a packet buffering mechanism at the base station (BS), in order to reduce the degradation in TCP performance caused by packet losses within mobile network environments. The purpose of packet buffering at the BS is to recover the packets dropped during inter-subnetwork handoff by forwarding the packets buffered at the previous BS to the new BS. However, when the mobile host moves to a congested BS within a new foreign subnetwork, the buffered packets forwarded by the previous BS are likely to be dropped. This subsequently causes global synchronization to occur, resulting in the degradation of the wireless link in the congested BS, due to the increased congestion caused by the forwarded burst packets. Thus, in this paper, we propose an implicit priority forwarding (IPF) packet buffering scheme as a solution to this problem within mobile IP based networks. In the proposed IPF method, the previous BS implicitly marks the priority packets being used for inter-subnetwork handoff. Moreover, the proposed modified random early detection (M-RED) buffer at the new congested BS guarantees some degree of reliability to the priority packets. The simulation results show that the proposed IPF packet buffering scheme increases the wireless link utilization and, thus, it enhances the TCP throughput performance in the context of various inter-subnetwork handoff cases.