SDI Seminar

Speaker: Dave Johnson

Protocols for Wireless and Mobile Host Networking

Date: January 26, 1995

Abstract: Mobile hosts such as notebook computers are now easily affordable and are becoming quite common in everyday business and personal life. Also, many new wireless networking products and services are now becoming commercially available. With this type of mobile computing equipment, there is a natural desire to share information between mobile users and to allow mobile users to utilize services provided through wide-area networks such as the Internet. However, wireless networks and host mobility present a number of fundamental new challenges for network protocols, and many existing network protocols do not work well in this environment.

In this talk, I will describe two new protocols designed to support mobile hosts operating with wireless networks. The first of these protocols allows a mobile host to connect anywhere to the Internet, and transparently supports the routing of packets to it in its current location using the mobile host's home address. This protocol is currently being developed within the Internet Engineering Task Force as a standard for mobile hosts in the Internet. The second protocol I will describe supports packet routing among an arbitrary group of mobile hosts forming an ad hoc network without access to standard network support infrastructure and administration. For example, employees may find themselves together in a meeting room; friends or business associates may run into each other in an airport terminal; or a collection of computer science researchers may gather in a hotel ballroom for a workshop or conference. The routing protocol supports communication between mobile hosts that may not themselves be within transmitter range of each other, by forwarding packets through other mobile hosts within the ad hoc network.