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Y-Comm is a new architecture for heterogeneous mobile networking. Our international project is built on observations about how the Internet is evolving.

1. Several wireless networks are being deployed, so mobile phones will soon contain many wireless interfaces (for example, 3G, Long Term Evolution (LTE) and Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs). There is therefore a need to provide users with seamless communication between these interfaces.

2. The widespread use of wireless networks will be a significant evolutionary step in the history of the Internet. We therefore should now think of the Internet as split into two distinct components: a core network comprising an optically switched backbone surrounded by fast access networks using broadband technologies; and peripheral networks dominated by different wireless technologies.

Y-Comm seeks to represent this new reality as an architecture made up of two frameworks: the The Core Framework (PDF 141KB) and the The Peripheral Framework (PDF 1.89MB). Our new architecture combines the two frameworks, forming a Y.

The History of Y-Comm

From 2001 to 2005, the Cambridge Wireless Testbed aimed to implement client-based vertical handover where handover to other networks is controlled by the mobile node, rather than the network. The mobile monitored the state of its various network interfaces and decided when and where handover should occur. In addition, a reactive policy mechanism called PROTON was invented to look at when handover should occur. This was written in PONDER, a policy language developed at Imperial College.

After this, the key issue became: how would you build a commercial network to do seamless vertical handover? It soon became clear that a new framework was needed to build future mobile systems. Traditional frameworks such as the OSI model are inadequate to meet these challenges and so Y-Comm was born.

Explore further

Talks we have given about Y-Comm provide further thinking on the project:

  • Supporting the Brave New World of the 4As: Anytime, Anywhere, Anyhow and Anything. November 2013.
  • Providing Ubiquitous Communication using Road-Side Units in VANET Systems. November 2013 (PDF 2MB)
  • Exploring the effect of maximum velocity transportation models on handovers in heterogeneous environments using exit times, March 2013 (PDF 1MB)
  • Exploiting location and context awareness to support proactive handover in heterogeneous networks, April 2012 (Powerpoint Presentation)
  • Exploring a framework for developing the future Internet: Lessons from the Y-Comm architecture, August 2011 (PDF, 1MB)
  • Y-Comm - A New Architecture for Heterogeneous Networking, November 2008 (Powerpoint presentation)

We also have extensive publications about the project, covering topics including handover, policy management and security.

The Y-Comm project has now moved into the implementation phase. This part of the project is therefore hosted on Researchgate.

A global project

Several institutions from across the globe are involved in the development and implementation of the Y-Comm architecture. Find out more about the Y-Comm global research group

Get involved

Y-Comm Requests for Comments (yRFCs) are discussion documents about the design, development and implementation of the Y-Comm architecture. Do have a read and get involved.

Developing Y-Comm is a huge effort, so we welcome input from other groups. If you are interested please email Glenford Mapp: g.mapp@mdx.ac.uk

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