Mobility

TCP over Wireless Links: Mechanisms and Implications

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Executive Summary

In wireless networks, the implicit assumption which TCP makes that losses indicate network congestion is no longer valid. Losses in wireless networks can result from bit errors, fading and handoffs. There are two different approaches to improve TCP performance in case of wireless losses: (1) hide non-congestion-related losses from the TCP sender, using either TCP-aware or TCP-unaware reliable link layer protocols, or using split connections with separate wireline and wireless TCP connections, or (2) adapt the TCP sender to realize that some losses are not due to congestion, e.g., using selective acknowledgments or explicit loss notification.

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