Chapter 7Impact of Satellite Networks on Transport Layer Protocols

This chapter discusses the impact of satellite networks on transport layer protocols including the transmission control protocol (TCP) and their applications. TCP is a reliable transport layer protocol of the Internet protocol stack. It provides the protocol for end-to-end communications between a client process in one host and a server process in the other host across the Internet. TCP has neither information on applications nor information on Internet traffic conditions and the transmission technologies (such as LAN, WAN, wireless and mobile and satellite networks). It relies on mechanisms including flow control, error control and congestion control between the client and server hosts to recover from transmission error and data loss and from network congestion and buffer overflows. All these mechanisms affect the performance of TCP over satellite and hence the Internet applications directly. This chapter also explains the major enhancements designed to improve TCP performance over satellite for a ‘satellite-friendly TCP’, although not all of these enhancements have become IETF standards, since they may cause some side-effects on the normal TCP operations. This chapter also provides an introduction to real-time transport protocols built on top of the user datagram protocol (UDP) including RTP, RTCP, SAP, SIP and so on, and related applications including voice over IP (VoIP) and multimedia conferencing (MMC). ...

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