Multicast promises lighter wireless Internet

By Eric Smalley, Technology Research News

The burgeoning community of wireless Internet users could tread more lightly using a multicast Mobile IP architecture, according to a 5,000-node simulation by a University of Southern California researcher.

The multicast architecture used half as much network bandwidth and had less than half the delay of the current Mobile IP architecture, according to Ahmed Helmy, the USC researcher who designed the architecture and ran the simulation.

When a sender uses standard Mobile IP to communicate with a mobile computer, it forwards the message to another computer on the mobile userís home network, which then forwards the message to the mobile computer. The mobile computer keeps its stand-in apprised of its location on the Internet.

In contrast, the multicast architecture establishes simultaneous links with many branches on the Internet. This allows the mobile computer to communicate directly with the sending computer by accessing the nearest branch of the multicast tree.

"My simulations show that the amount of links that you have to go to get to the nearest branch of the tree is, on average, around 2 1/2. And in most cases you'll be moving to a neighboring network," Helmy said. "So in general, you probably just incur a very, very low delay to get to the nearest point of the already established tree."

It will be three to five years before the multicast Mobile IP architecture can be deployed because multicast in general is not yet supported throughout the Internet, Helmy said. His research received funding from Nortel Networks Corporation.

Timeline:  >3 years
Funding:  Corporate
TRN Categories:  Internet; Networking
Story Type:  News
Related Elements:  Technical paper in the Computing Research Repository


June 21, 2000

Page One

Nature nurtures nanotech

Virtual physicals at hand

Sandia speeds microtube chip making

Data compression makes the heart grow fuzzy

Multicast promises lighter wireless Internet


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