You are on page 1of 19


Mobile IP Mobile IP: Terminology Internet protocol Data transfer to mobile system Data transfer from mobile system Mobile IP : Basic Operation IP-in-IP tunneling
15-849E Wireless Networking 2

Mobile IP entities Mobile IP Support services Mobile IP operations Registration Process Sub optional TRIANGLE Routing Mobile IP summary

Mobile IP
Mobile IP was developed as a means for transparently dealing with problems of mobile users Enables hosts to stay connected to the Internet regardless of their location Enables hosts to be tracked without needing to change their IP address Requires no changes to software of non-mobile hosts/routers Requires addition of some infrastructure Has no geographical limitations Requires no modifications to IP addresses or IP address format

Internet Protocol (IP)

Network layer, "best-effort" packet delivery Supports UDP and TCP (transport layer protocols) IP host addresses consist of two parts
network id + host id

By design, IP host address is tied to home network address

Hosts are assumed to be wired, immobile Intermediate routers look only at network address Mobility without a change in IP address results in un-route-able packets

Mobile IP: Terminology

Mobile Node (MN)
node that moves across networks without changing its IP address

Home Agent (HA)

host in the home network of the MN, typically a router registers the location of the MN, tunnels IP packets to the COA

Foreign Agent (FA)

host in the current foreign network of the MN, typically a router forwards tunneled packets to the MN, typically the default router for MN

Care-of Address (COA)
address of the current tunnel end-point for the MN (at FA or MN) actual location of the MN from an IP point of view

Correspondent Node (CN)

host with which MN is corresponding (TCP connection)

Data transfer to the mobile system HA


home network Internet



foreign network


1. Sender sends to the IP address of MN, HA intercepts packet (proxy ARP) 2. HA tunnels packet to COA, here FA, by encapsulation 3. FA forwards the packet to the MN
Source: Schiller

Data transfer from the mobile system HA


home network Internet



foreign network


1. Sender sends to the IP address of the receiver as usual, FA works as default router

Source: Schiller

Mobile IP: Basic Operation

Agent Advertisement
HA/FA periodically send advertisement messages into their physical subnets MN listens to these messages and detects, if it is in home/foreign network MN reads a COA from the FA advertisement messages

MN Registration
MN signals COA to the HA via the FA HA acknowledges via FA to MN limited lifetime, need to be secured by authentication

HA Proxy
HA advertises the IP address of the MN (as for fixed systems)

Mobile IP: Other Issues

Reverse Tunneling
firewalls permit only topological correct addresses a packet from the MN encapsulated by the FA is now topological correct

Triangular Routing
HA informs sender the current location of MN

Change of FA

IP-in-IP Tunneling
Packet to be forwarded is encapsulated in a new IP packet In the new header:
Destination = care-of-address Source = address of home agent Protocol number = IP-in-IP
IP header data IP header IP header data

Mobile IP Entities
Mobile Node (MN)
The entity that may change its point of attachment from network to network in the Internet
Detects it has moved and registers with best FA

Assigned a permanent IP called its home address to which other hosts send packets regardless of MNs location
Since this IP doesnt change it can be used by long-lived applications as MNs location changes

Home Agent (HA)

This is router with additional functionality Located on home network of MN Does mobility binding of MNs IP with its COA

Mobile IP Entities contd.

Foreign Agent (FA)
Another router with enhanced functionality If MN is away from HA the it uses an FA to send/receive data to/from HA Advertises itself periodically Forwards MNs registration request Decapsulates messages for delivery to MN

Care-of-address (COA)
Address which identifies MNs current location Sent by FA to HA when MN attaches Usually the IP address of the FA

Correspondent Node

Mobile IP Support Services

Agent Discovery
HAs and FAs broadcast their presence on each network to which they are attached
Beacon messages via ICMP Router Discovery Protocol (IRDP)

MNs listen for advertisement and then initiate registration

When MN is away, it registers its COA with its HA Registration control messages are sent via UDP to well known port

Encapsulation just like standard IP only with COA Decapsulation again, just like standard IP

Mobile IP Operation
A MN listens for agent advertisement and then initiates registration
If responding agent is the HA, then mobile IP is not necessary

After receiving the registration request from a MN, the HA acknowledges and registration is complete
Registration happens as often as MN changes networks

HA intercepts all packets destined for MN

This is simple unless sending application is on or near the same network as the MN HA masquerades as MN

Registration Process

Mobile IP Summary
Mobile node moves to new location Agent Advertisement by foreign agent Registration of mobile node with home agent Proxying by home agent for mobile node Encapsulation of packets Tunneling by home agent to mobile node via foreign agent Reverse tunneling Optimizations for triangular routing