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Inter working mechanisms are of prime importance to achieve ubiquitous access and seamless mobility in heterogeneous wireless networks. In this paper the authors develop a comprehensive framework to categorize inter working solutions by defining a generic set of inter working levels and its related key inter working mechanisms. The proposed framework is used to analyze some of the most relevant inter working solutions being considered in different standardization bodies. More specifically, I-WLAN and GAN approaches for WLAN and cellular integration, solutions for WiMAX and 3GPP LTE/SAE inter working, and the forthcoming IEEE 802.21 standard are discussed from the common point of view provided by the elaborated framework.
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