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An ambient network is a network combination that was developed to solve issues and problems related to switching. It is used to build up a network that is compatible for current and forthcoming physical network infrastructures, allowing people to connect with each other all over the world.
Ambient networking emerged from a European Commission-sponsored project called the IST Ambient Network project. The project was part of the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), which aimed to explore future communication systems.
Ambient networking provides appropriate mobile technology for the emerging mobile communication and WAN communication environment. It provides a universal networking idea that can be applied to the current environment, which is a very mixed environment of various radio technologies and networks.
Ambient networking is based on a concept called ambient control space (ACS).
Let’s look at an example of how ambient networking technology works. Suppose that Scott has a personal area network in his organization. He also uses Bluetooth, a cell phone and a notebook, all of which are on the network. Scott’s notebook also has the capacity to connect via enabled WLAN, while his cell phone can connect through GPRS.
Suppose that Scott is walking down the street and his notebook is downloading songs using the GPRS connection on his cell phone. The current scenario will occur:
Notebook -> Bluetooth -> Cell Phone -> GPRS -> Cellular Network
While walking, Scott passes into a free WLAN hot spot covered area. His PAN immediately links to the hot spot. Once Scott’s PAN network has merged with the hot spot, his music will continue to download using the newly established WLAN link instead of the more costly and slower GPRS connection. If Scott wants to use the internet at this point, PDA will also use the WLAN connection in the following way:
PDA -> Bluetooth -> Notebook -> WLAN -> Hot Spot