Academic journal article Issues in Informing Science & Information Technology

A Virtual Learning Environment for Mobile IP

Academic journal article Issues in Informing Science & Information Technology

A Virtual Learning Environment for Mobile IP

Article excerpt


Today, the number of wireless and mobile devices connected to the Internet is strongly growing. Wireless links and networks, mobile users and mobility-related services form an increasing part of the Internet infrastructure. These wireless and mobile parts are normally connected to larger, wired networks. Mastering the key concepts in mobile, wireless and wired technology areas are therefore of increasing importance in the society of today.

There is a distinction between wireless and mobility. You can find many networked environments in which the network nodes are wireless but not mobile. Such examples are wireless home and office networks with stationary workstations. A limited form of mobility that does not require wireless links is the use of a wired laptop at home and in the office. A both wireless and mobile example is the scenario where a mobile user is maintaining a voice-over-IP call while racing down the autobahn. The various degrees of mobility, from the network layer's point of view, can therefore be presented as a user moving only within the same wireless access network, as a user moving between access networks shutting down while moving between network and as a user moving between access networks maintaining ongoing connections (Kurose & Ross, 2005).

Mobile Internet Protocol (IP) is an extension to the standard IP for use in mobile applications. The standard allows users with mobile devices whose IP addresses are associated with one network to stay connected when moving to a network with a different IP address. According to the ISP Glossary 2005:

   A common analogy to explain Mobile IP is when someone moves his
   residence from one location to another. Person moves from Boston to
   New York. Person drops off new mailing address to New York post
   office. New York post office notifies Boston post office of new
   mailing address. When Boston post office receives mail for person
   it knows to forward mail to person's New York address.

Mobility management skills are needed by practically any user of a mobile device connected to a wireless network. Presently, there is a growing demand for wireless network professionals. Typical areas of interest include mobility management principles, development of wireless network technologies, methodologies and standards, and delivery of support and training to mobile users and professionals in wireless network related issues

A virtual, survey oriented Mobile IP environment, developed for students, will give highly needed, specialized, and also custom designed network education.

The Mobile Internet Protocol

The Mobile Internet Protocol (Mobile IP) was developed for the network layer to support mobility. The Internet architecture and protocols for supporting mobility are defined primarily in the standard RFC 3344 (Perkins, 2002). Objectives related to the development of Mobile IP include (Schiller, 2000):

* Compatibility. Mobile IP does not require changes to end-systems, routers, applications and network protocols already in use. Data link layer protocols as IP are also supported. Furthermore, Mobile IP has to ensure that mobile end-systems can communicate with fixed systems.

* Transparency. Higher protocols, like TCP (Transport Control Protocol), continue to work even if the mobile unit changes its network attachment point. This implies that mobility remains 'invisible' for higher level protocols and applications.

* Scalability and efficiency. Mobile IP has to be scalable over a large number of participants of the Internet. Enhancing mobility must not degrade the efficiency of the network.

* Security. Minimum requirements are message replay prevention and authentication of all registration messages.

The Mobile IP standard consists of three main areas (Kurose & Ross, 2005). Agent discovery is a procedure where a home or foreign agent advertises its services to be used by the mobile node. …

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