Fast Handover Pre-Authentication Protocol in 3GPP-WLAN Heterogeneous Mobile Networks


The demand of ubiquitous communications drives the development of advanced mobile technologies. Meanwhile, recent increases in mobile data usage and the emergence of new IP service applications constitute the motivation to integrate 3GPP cellular mobile systems with broadband WLANs. Since 3GPP and WLAN systems complement each other in terms of infrastructure and network coverage and bandwidth, 3GPP-WLAN Heterogeneous Mobile Networks based on the 3GPP-based Home Network (3GHN) are proposed for meeting the growing demands in high-speed data access on any mobile devices. However, heterogeneous radio access technologies and architectures lead to many interworking issues, such as network transparency, security mechanism, seamless handover, and quality of service. Among of them, security and handover are the major motives to ensure the confidentiality, reliability and continuity of services in 3GPP-WLAN Heterogeneous Mobile Networks. This paper proposes fast handover pre-authentication protocol to reduce the handover authentication latency and authentication signaling overhead during the whole handover session. The proposed protocol supports Intra-Domain Handover Pre-Authentication (Intra-HO Pre-Auth) and Inter-Domain Handover Pre-Authentication (Inter-HO Pre-Auth) for preauthenticating the Mobile User (MS) prior to performing an Inter-domain Handover (Inter-domain HO)/Intra-domain Handover (Intra-domain HO) process. Meanwhile, the reduction in retrieving new Authentication Vector sand key sets from the Home Location Register/Home Subscriber Service/Authentication Center in 3GHN achieves for minimized redundant authentication signaling transactions between 3GPP domains and WLAN domains. In addition, this paper provides simulation results which show that the proposed Intra-HO Pre-Auth achieves 49% handover authentication performance improvement compared to EAP-AKA, and the proposed Inter-HO Pre-Auth achieves 26% handover authentication performance improvement as well.

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Shen, S. , Lin, S. and Chiu, J. (2014) Fast Handover Pre-Authentication Protocol in 3GPP-WLAN Heterogeneous Mobile Networks. International Journal of Communications, Network and System Sciences, 7, 101-113. doi: 10.4236/ijcns.2014.74012.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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