Analysis, design and experimental evaluation of connectivity management in heterogeneous wireless environments

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The future of network communications is mobile as many more users demand for ubiquitous connectivity. Wireless has become the primary access technology or even the only one, leading to an explosion in traffic demand. This challenges network providers to manage and configure new requirements without incrementing costs in the same amount. In addition to the growth in the use of mobile devices, there is a need to operate simultaneously different access technologies. As well, the great diversity of applications and the capabilities of mobile terminals makes possible for us to live in a hyper-connected world and offers new scenarios. This heterogeneity poses great challenges that need to be addressed to offer better performance and seamless experience to the final user. We need to orchestrate solutions to increase flexibility and empower interoperability. Connectivity management is handled from different angles. In the network stack, mobility is more easily handled by IP mobility protocols, since IP is the common layer between the different access technologies and the application diversity. From the end-user perspective, the connection manager is in charge of handling connectivity issues in mobile devices, but it is an unstandardized entity so its performance is heavily implementation-dependent. In this thesis we explore connectivity management from different angles. We study mobility protocols as they are part of our proposed solutions. In most of the cases we include an experimental evaluation of performance with 3G and IEEE 802.11 as the main technologies. We consider heterogeneous scenarios, with several access technologies where mobile devices have also several network interfaces. We evaluate how connectivity is handled as well as its influence in a handover. Based on the analysis of real traces from a cellular network, we confirm the suitability of more efficient mobility management. Moreover, we propose and evaluate three different solutions for providing mobility support in three different heterogeneous scenarios. We perform an experimental evaluation of a vehicular route optimization for network mobility, reporting on the challenges and lessons learned in such a complicated networking environment. We propose an architecture for supporting mobility and enhance handover in a passive optical network deployment. In addition, we design and deploy a mechanism for mobility management based on software-defined networking.
Mención Internacional en el título de doctor
Network communications, Mobile devices, Connectivity management, Mobility protocols, 3G mobile communication, IEEE 802.11
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