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In an all-IP environment of internetworked heterogeneous mobile data networks, ongoing data sessions from roaming users are subjected to frequent vertical handoffs. Under such circumstances, careful consideration must be given for the selection of appropriate vertical handoff mechanisms to ensure seamless service continuity and desired Quality of Service (QoS) levels. Therefore, efficient methods for evaluating and comparing such techniques are essential. One such evaluation technique is signaling cost analysis. This paper presents an analytical model for evaluating signaling cost of vertical handoffs in a heterogeneous mobile networking environment at the core network level for a roaming user.
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