Qualcomm Pushes Seamless Cellular-To-WiFi Handoffs

Qualcomm takes a look at how service providers can pull off a seamless handoff of data from cellular to WLAN networks in a patent application published on Thursday.

Title: Handover From Cellular To WLAN In Integrated Network

Assignee: Qualcomm

Abstract: Wireless communications in an integrated network handling data for multimode terminals receiving data over two or more different networks are disclosed. Different networks, including 3GPP and WLAN are disclosed. Mobile entities receiving data packets from a packet gateway are disclosed. Methods for handing off a mobile entity from a cellular wireless network to a trusted wireless access network (TWAN) are disclosed. Determining whether an Internet Protocol (IP) interface of a mobile entity is ready to receive data packets via a TWAN is disclosed. Indicating mobile entity readiness to receive data packets via a TWAN is disclosed.

Patent Application

Claims:

  1. A method for handing off a mobile entity receiving data packets from a packet gateway (P-GW) of a core network via a cellular wireless network to receiving the data packets from the P-GW via a trusted wireless access network (TWAN), the method comprising: determining, by the mobile entity, whether an Internet Protocol (IP) interface of the mobile entity is ready to receive the data packets via the TWAN; and indicating, from the mobile entity to a TWAN gateway (TWAG), readiness to receive the data packets via the TWAN, based on the determining

 

  1. The method of claim 1, further comprising authenticating the mobile entity for access via the TWAN, by communicating with the core network, prior to the determining.

 

  1. The method of claim 2, wherein the authenticating is performed using an extensible authentication protocol (EAP) challenge-response message exchange.

 

  1. The method of claim 1, further comprising continuing to receive the data packets via the cellular wireless network at least until the indicating readiness.

 

  1. The method of claim 4, further comprising receiving the data packets via the TWAN and ceasing to receive the data packets via the cellular wireless network, after the indicating readiness.

 

  1. The method of claim 4, further comprising transmitting uplink data packets via the TWAN and ceasing to transmit uplink data packets via the cellular wireless network, after the indicating readiness.

 

  1. The method of claim 1, wherein the indicating readiness is performed by sending a message from the mobile entity to the TWAG.

 

  1. The method of claim 7, wherein the message from the mobile entity to the TWAG is selected from: a message including a readiness indicator for explicit notification, and a message lacking any readiness indicator for implicit notification.

 

  1. The method of claim 7, wherein sending the message from the mobile entity to the TWAG comprises sending an extensible authentication protocol (EAP) response to an EAP notification message.

 

  1. The method of claim 9, further comprising receiving, by the mobile entity, an IP address of the mobile entity in the EAP notification message.

 

  1. The method of claim 1, further comprising configuring the IP interface to receive the data packets via the TWAN instead of via the cellular wireless network.

 

  1. The method of claim 11, wherein the cellular wireless network comprises a 3GPP access network.

 

  1. An apparatus for handing off a mobile entity receiving data packets from a packet gateway (P-GW) of a core network via a cellular wireless network to receiving the data packets from the P-GW via a trusted wireless access network (TWAN), the apparatus comprising: means for determining, by the mobile entity, whether an Internet Protocol (IP) interface of the mobile entity is ready to receive the data packets via the TWAN; and means for indicating, from the mobile entity to a TWAN gateway (TWAG), readiness to receive the data packets via the TWAN, based on the determining

 

  1. An apparatus for handing off a mobile entity receiving data packets from a packet gateway (P-GW) of a core network via a cellular wireless network to receiving the data packets from the P-GW via a trusted wireless access network (TWAN), the apparatus comprising: at least one processor configured for determining, by the mobile entity, whether an Internet Protocol (IP) interface of the mobile entity is ready to receive the data packets via the TWAN, and for indicating, from the mobile entity to a TWAN gateway (TWAG), readiness to receive the data packets via the TWAN, based on the determining; and a memory coupled with the at least one processor.

 

  1. A computer program product for handing off a mobile entity receiving data packets from a packet gateway (P-GW) of a core network via a cellular wireless network to receiving the data packets from the P-GW via a trusted wireless access network (TWAN), comprising a computer readable medium having instructions stored thereon for: determining, by the mobile entity, whether an Internet Protocol (IP) interface of the mobile entity is ready to receive the data packets via the TWAN, and indicating, from the mobile entity to a TWAN gateway (TWAG), readiness to receive the data packets via the TWAN, based on the determining.

 

  1. A method for handing off a mobile entity receiving data packets from a packet gateway (P-GW) of a core network via a cellular wireless network to receiving the data packets from the P-GW via a trusted wireless access network (TWAN), the method comprising: receiving, by a TWAN gateway (TWAG), an indication from the mobile entity that an Internet Protocol (IP) interface of the mobile entity is ready to receive the data packets via the TWAN; and in response to the indication, notifying the P-GW that the mobile entity is ready to receive the data packets via the TWAN.

 

  1. The method of claim 16, further comprising authenticating the mobile entity for access via the TWAN, by communicating with the mobile entity and the core network, prior to the receiving.

 

  1. The method of claim 17, wherein the authenticating is performed using an extensible authentication protocol (EAP) challenge-response message exchange.

 

  1. The method of claim 16, further comprising receiving the data packets from the P-GW and sending the data packets to the mobile entity from the TWAG, after the notifying.

 

  1. The method of claim 16, wherein receiving the indication comprises receiving a message from the mobile entity.

 

  1. The method of claim 20, wherein the message from the mobile entity is selected from: a message including a readiness indicator for explicit notification, and a message lacking any readiness indicator for implicit notification.

 

  1. The method of claim 20, wherein receiving the message from the mobile entity comprises receiving an extensible authentication protocol (EAP) response to an EAP notification message.

 

  1. The method of claim 22, further comprising sending to the mobile entity, an IP address of the mobile entity in the EAP notification message.

 

  1. An apparatus for handing off a mobile entity receiving data packets from a packet gateway (P-GW) of a core network via a cellular wireless network to receiving the data packets from the P-GW via a trusted wireless access network (TWAN), comprising: means for receiving, by a TWAN gateway (TWAG), an indication from the mobile entity that an Internet Protocol (IP) interface of the mobile entity is ready to receive the data packets via the TWAN; and responsive to the indication, means for notifying the P-GW that the mobile entity is ready to receive the data packets via the TWAN.

 

  1. An apparatus for handing off a mobile entity receiving data packets from a packet gateway (P-GW) of a core network via a cellular wireless network to receiving the data packets from the P-GW via a trusted wireless access network (TWAN), the apparatus comprising: at least one processor configured for: receiving, by a TWAN gateway (TWAG), an indication from the mobile entity that an Internet Protocol (IP) interface of the mobile entity is ready to receive the data packets via the TWAN, and in response to the indication, notifying the P-GW that the mobile entity is ready to receive the data packets via the TWAN; and a memory coupled with the at least one processor.

 

  1. A computer program product for handing off a mobile entity receiving data packets from a packet gateway (P-GW) of a core network via a cellular wireless network to receiving the data packets from the P-GW via a trusted wireless access network (TWAN), comprising a computer readable medium having instructions stored thereon for: receiving, by a TWAN gateway (TWAG), an indication from the mobile entity that an Internet Protocol (IP) interface of the mobile entity is ready to receive the data packets via the TWAN, and in response to the indication, notifying the P-GW that the mobile entity is ready to receive the data packets via the TWAN.

Description