ATM Service Provisioning to Wireless Hosts

Investigators :
Danny Tsang, T.M. Ko, Samuel T. Chanson, Jun Gu, Bo Li, Jelena Misic, Michael K.Y. Wong

Start Date :
1 July 1998

Completion Date :
30 June 2001

Abstract :
In recent years there has been an increasing trend towards personal computers and workstations becoming “portable” and “mobile”. This ever-increasing group of mobile users have been demanding access to network services similar to their “tethered” counterparts. The desire to provide universal connectivity for these portable and mobile computers and communication devices is fuelling a growing interest in wireless packet networks. At the same time, wireline communication networks have been undergoing a revolutionary change themselves with the introduction of Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) based Broadband Integrated Services Digital Network (B-ISDN) which can provide Quality of Service (QoS) guaranteed. Given these rapid advancements, tomorrow’s communication networks are expected to employ wireless media in the local area and utilize wireline physical media in the metropolitan and wide area environment.

To support multimedia applications in wireless systems, it is necessary to construct a wireless networking infrastructure that can support QoS guarantees essential to providing broadband services. Since ATM is the standard for wireline broadband networks, it has generally been agreed that broadband services are best provided to wireless users by exploiting ATM in wireless systems. However, since the characteristics of the wireless communication channels (e.g., high bit error rate and user mobility) are significantly different from those wireline channels, solutions that are designed for wireline networks cannot be expected to work for wireless environment. Therefore, we propose to construct a prototype system to conduct research on the efficient use of ATM to support multimedia applications for wireless mobile users. The project will produce academically significant research while contributing meaningfully to the development of local telecommunication industries. The rapid growth of these industries is manifested by the recently deployment of commercial ATM services from the Hong Kong Telecom, the recent approval of six Personal Communication System (PCS) licenses by the Hong Kong Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) and the soon-to-be deployed video-on-demand service from the Hong Kong Telecom’s IMS.