Beacon-Based Service Publishing Framework in Multiservice Wi-Fi Hotspots
© Dario Di Sorte et al. 2007
Received: 7 November 2006
Accepted: 8 March 2007
Published: 24 May 2007
In an expected future multiaccess and multiservice IEEE 802.11 environment, the problem of providing users with useful service-related information to support a correct rapid network selection is expected to become a very important issue. A feasible short-term 802.11-tailored working solution, compliant with existing equipment, is to publish service information encoded within the SSID information element within beacon frames. This makes it possible for an operator to implement service publishing in 802.11 networks while waiting for a standardized mechanism. Also, this straightforward approach has allowed us to evaluate experimentally the performance of a beacon-based service publishing solution. In fact, the main focus of the paper is indeed to present a quantitative comparison of service discovery times between the legacy scenario, where the user is forced to associate and authenticate with a network point of access to check its service offer, and the enhanced scenario where the set of service-related information is broadcasted within beacons. These discovery times are obtained by processing the results of a measurement campaign performed in a multiaccess/service 802.11 environment. This analysis confirms the effectiveness of the beacon-based approach. We also show that the cost in terms of wireless bandwidth consumption of such solution is low.
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