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Foto: Judith Kraft Show image information

Foto: Judith Kraft

Development of an IEEE 802.21-based Universal Information Service

he goal of this project is the development of an IEEE 802.21-based architecture for a Universal Information Service. The basic idea of the project is to leverage the central components of the evolving IEEE 802.21 standard to provide information to mobile devices (PDA, cellular, laptop, etc.) and mobile networks (Personal Area Networks, Body Area Networks, etc.). This project is a collaboration between BenQ and the University of Paderborn - Research Group Computer Networks.


  • The work on IEEE 802.21 published by Christian Dannewitz, Stefan Berg, and Holger Karl was recognized by Frost & Sullivan Technical Insights and published in their latest report "IEEE 802.21-- Enabling Seamless Handover between Networks".

    Overview: Technical Insights, a division of Frost & Sullivan, has just released a new report on IEEE 802.21. Using direct research and market information from leading universities, corporations and government organizations, Technical Insights provides an insight into the potential of IEEE 802.21 to allow seamless handover across heterogeneous networks. The report identifies key drivers and challenges and monitors current and future trends as well as major developments of institutes, universities, and organizations across the world in this area. The research service also provides key stakeholders’ assessments on the impact of IEEE 802.21 and discusses adoption factors for this standard. Our reports delve into barriers to commercialization and describe the various sectors IEEE 802.21 may be applied to.



During the last several years, mobile entities, including both mobile devices (e.g. PDA, laptop) and small mobile networks (e.g. Personal Area Networks) have proliferated. This mobility results in frequently changing points of attachment, including frequently changing, heterogeneous access networks to which the mobile entity (i.e. device or network) attaches. To adapt to changing environments, those entities need information about the environment, including information about the access network as well as more general information about the current context in which the mobile entity resides. Ever increasing mobility urgently requires sophisticated methods to provide this information automatically so that mobile entities can adapt to new environments without human intervention. To support mobile entities with better information, some kind of infrastructure is needed.

IEEE 802.21

The evolving IEEE 802.21 standard [1] defines such an infrastructure and provides information to mobile devices for the special case of network handovers, improving these handover decisions. The provided information includes information about lower layers such as neighboring networks or link-layer information as well as information about some available higher-layer services like QoS and Internet connectivity. As there is a much broader need for information to enable the automatic adaptation of mobile entities to their environments, we propose to use and extend the basic infrastructure components defined in the IEEE 802.21 standard to enable a Universal Information Service.


Development of an IEEE 802.21-based Universal Information Service

Information about the project:     
Project members:Holger Karl
Christian Dannewitz
Project website:BenQ
Type:Industry Research
Started:January 2006
Finished:September 2006
Contact:Holger Karl

The University for the Information Society