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TCP in a wireless world

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1 Author(s)

Mobile wireless is one of the more challenging environments for the Internet protocols, and for TCP in particular. One approach to supporting the wireless environment is the so-called “walled garden”. Here the transport protocol used within the mobile wireless environment is not TCP, but is instead a transport protocol that has been specifically adapted to mobile wireless. In this model, Internet applications interact with an application gateway to reach the wireless world, and the application gateway uses a wireless transport protocol and potentially a modified version of the application data to interact with the wireless device. The most common implementation of this approach is to extend a Web client into the mobile wireless device, using some form of proxy server at the boundary of the wireless network and the Internet. This is the approach adopted by the Wireless Access Protocol (WAP) Forum. An alternative is to allow mobile wireless devices to function as any other Internet-connected device. This approach requires some form of end-to-end direct IP continuity and an associated end-to-end TCP functionality, where the TCP path straddles both wired and wireless segments. Ensuring the efficient operation of TCP in this environment becomes integral to the development of the environment itself; the problem is no longer one of adjusting TCP to match the requirements of the wireless environment, but one of providing seamless interworking between the wired and wireless worlds

Published in:

IEEE Internet Computing  (Volume:5 ,  Issue: 2 )