Multi-Access Environments in Next Generation Networks
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Engineering / Centre for Communications Engineering Research
Wireless heterogeneous environment is becoming increasingly popular because of its ability to support multi access technologies, which keeps the mobile users always connected. The fourth generation (4G) of wireless environment consists of dissimilar technologies like Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) and Long Term Evolution-Advanced (LTE-A). Coexistence of these standards presents technological challenges. Other challenges towards heterogenous 4G environment include coexistence of third generation (3G) and 4G and coexistence of Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) and 3G/4G technologies. This chapter presents the technical overview of the 4G (WiMAX and LTE-A) standards and identifies the challenges and research issues (i.e., mobility management, network selection, handover, and Quality of Service [QoS]) toward a multi-access environment that consists of 3G, 4G, and WLAN technologies. The chapter also discusses future directions and some research solutions.