Reconfigurable Systems in a Heterogeneous Environment
1.1 Reconfigurable Systems in Future Networks
As we look beyond the Third Generation of Mobile Communications, we will experience the integration and intercommunication of existing and future networks together with radio access technologies. The convergence towards an Internal Protocol (IP)-based core network and ubiquitous, seamless access between 2G, 3G, broadband and broadcast wireless access schemes, augmented by self-organising network schemes and short-range connectivity between intelligent communicating appliances, enforces common terminal and network entity platforms (Figure 1.1).
In this ‘composite radio environment’ where several highly standardised legacy radio transport schemes exist, the medium-term goal would be to develop reconfigurable network and terminal techniques to enable interworking and so deliver diverse and exciting applications using the most appropriate radio access scheme(s). Appropriate in this sense refers to the dynamic choice of access scheme(s) to achieve seamless, uninterrupted delivery to the user, customised to the user needs in terms of content, quality of service (QoS) and cost. In such an environment, vertical handover may take place between different access systems (the cellular layer down to the personal network layer, e.g. Bluetooth), combined with real-time service and resource negotiations to seamlessly achieve the desired QoS. ...