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In the case of a 3G-WLAN inter-working architecture, handoff latency is mainly caused by the delays incurred when a mobile STAtion (STA) transfers a current security context to the target access network or establishes connectivity to a new Access Point (AP). Existing handoff optimization schemes have mostly focused on reducing the scanning time which is to discover nearby access points. Even though the time taken by a mobile STA to authenticate the target APs contributes to the total handoff delay, the schemes to optimize the authentication time have not yet been fully investigated for providing seamless connectivity to mobile users performing handoff in WLANs.
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