|A key element to drive generalised network access is the convergence of different services within one system. Future devices and applications will integrate real-time voice/video traffic and packet data. This will replace the current solution, where in-house networks have two parallel wireless infrastructures: the telephony infrastructure providing low-bandwidth but high quality of service, and the computer network for high data-rate but best-effort bursty traffic. The aim of the project is to merge both networks by integrating professional quality telephony into WLANs, whereby crucially the quality of service in the telephony part is not impaired.
The approach is to merge the upper layers of the DECT protocol stack with current WLAN physical layer and MAC layer technology, using a protocol adaptation layer (PAL). In the research phase, the project will investigate radio resource management, power consumption, handover, and quality-of-service (QoS) support through extensions to the 802.11a/e WLAN standard. The results will determine the design of the demonstration system to be manufactured by the partners in the project. The outcome will be DECT-over-WLAN telephones and access points, which support professional-quality telephony. The demonstration system will be tested by field trials in a realistic environment. The project extends the European expertise in supporting wireless real-time data, furthers the aim of "broadband for all" through system convergence, and contributes to the standardisation of WLAN QoS support.