SoftMAC in Heterogeneous Wireless Network
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Wireless networks are growing exponentially by the steady improvement of its speed and quality. IEEE 802.11-based Wireless Local Area Networking (WLAN) has been developed for mobile computing devices in LANs, in a short and limited range. IEEE 802.16 Wireless Metropolitan Area Network (WMAN) is designed for a line-of-sight (LOS) distance with QoS capability. The IEEE 802.11 standard has a totally different MAC layer compared to the IEEE 802.16 standard, normally they will communicate at the Network Layer by switches or routers. This thesis investigates the major design requirements for SoftMAC design, and will demonstrate a prototype that can meet the design requirements. It proves the possibility and flexibility of using SoftMAC to connect and control Heterogeneous Wireless Network, in order to fulfill seamless handover among multiple heterogeneous wireless interfaces. We will show that by adding the proposed SoftMAC on top of the traditional MAC layer, the mobile station cannot only perform handover between access points, but also essentially open a door to a wider range of application and services.