Supporting Session and Access Point Mobility in a Large Multi-Provider Multi-Vendor Municipal WiFi Network

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Executive Summary

The authors present a simple network design for a large multi-provider municipal WiFi network where the WiFi zones of multiple organizations are merged into a single IP subnet at a central layer 2 switch. The design provides built-in session mobility support for the WiFi clients using the network, without any additional software at the client. They also provide a simple design for mobile access points so that they belong to the same IP subnet. They analyze the session mobility of the over 12000 devices using their network in January 2008. They also provide a comparison of the usage of multi-mode mobile devices and WiFi laptops, and characterize the roaming performance of a standard WiFi laptop in their network.

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