Currently, wireless Internet access does not differ much from wired access in terms of features. The majority of work so far has focused on rolling out standards for access technologies for basic connectivity. However, once the wireless Internet gains popularity the demand for additional services will become prevalent, and architectures will emerge from research laboratories to be implemented in the infrastructure.
In this chapter, we have tried to give an overview of the existing accepted solutions and list the most burning issues for the mobile Internet. Each of these issues will have to be taken into account when designing mobility solutions. There will undoubtedly emerge further issues in the future, as the mobile Internet matures and new types of services are introduced. One of the real challenges will be to devise solutions that cater to all the aspects and issues.
It is possible that there will be a number of coexisting solutions that are designed to address different scenarios and use cases. The Internet as a connecting infrastructure enables players as different as single applications developers and multinational operators to share the one infrastructure for data transfer. The demands put on solutions to support single applications and global user mobility are very different indeed. It is evident also that the trend of an increasingly heterogeneous Internet will continue in the future. The available access technologies will become even more diversified and terminals will become increasingly personalized and reflect user habits.
In this environment, mobility will take on different roles. For the traveling businessman, global connectivity with a traditional roaming agreement infrastructure will be necessary for all data services, as it is today for 2G cellular telephony. For a teenager, high bandwidth hot spots for networked gaming consoles, without the requirement of seamless mobility coupled with a separate cellular terminal for messaging, might be the right solution. The important issue is that mobility management will be one of the infrastructure components that will act as a service enabler. Therefore the primary goal of these components will be to impose as few restrictions on the services as possible. Only then will the mobile Internet reach its full potential.