Network Working Group T. Ernst
Request for Comments: 4886 INRIA
Category: Informational July 2007 Network Mobility Support Goals and Requirements
Status of This Memo
This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does
not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of this
memo is unlimited.
Copyright (C) The IETF Trust (2007).
Network mobility arises when a router connecting a network to the
Internet dynamically changes its point of attachment to the Internet
thereby causing the reachability of the said network to be changed in
relation to the fixed Internet topology. Such a type of network is
referred to as a mobile network. With appropriate mechanisms,
sessions established between nodes in the mobile network and the
global Internet can be maintained after the mobile router changes its
point of attachment. This document outlines the goals expected from
network mobility support and defines the requirements that must be
met by the NEMO Basic Support solution.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction ....................................................22. NEMO Working Group Objectives and Methodology ...................33. NEMO Support Design Goals .......................................53.1. Migration Transparency .....................................53.2. Performance Transparency and Seamless Mobility .............53.3. Network Mobility Support Transparency ......................53.4. Operational Transparency ...................................53.5. Arbitrary Configurations ...................................53.6. Local Mobility and Global Mobility .........................63.7. Scalability ................................................73.8. Backward Compatibility .....................................73.9. Secure Signaling ...........................................73.10. Location Privacy ..........................................83.11. IPv4 and NAT Traversal ....................................83.12. Minimal Impact on Internet Routing ........................84. NEMO Basic Support One-Liner Requirements .......................85. Security Considerations ........................................106. Acknowledgments ................................................117. References .....................................................117.1. Normative References ......................................117.2. Informative References ....................................111. Introduction
Network mobility support (see  for the related terminology) is
concerned with managing the mobility of an entire network, viewed as
a single unit that changes its point of attachment to the Internet
and thus its reachability in the Internet topology. Such a network
is referred to as a mobile network and includes one or more mobile
routers (MRs), which connect it to the global Internet. Nodes behind
the MR(s) (MNNs) are both fixed (LFNs) and mobile (VMNs or LMNs). In
most cases, the internal structure of the mobile network will be
relatively stable (no dynamic change of the topology), but this is
not always true.
Cases of mobile networks include, for instance:
o Networks attached to people (Personal Area Networks or PANs): a
cell phone with one cellular interface and one Bluetooth interface
together with a Bluetooth-enabled PDA constitute a very simple
instance of a mobile network. The cell phone is the mobile router
while the PDA is used for web browsing or runs a personal web
o Networks of sensors and computers deployed in vehicles: vehicles
are increasingly equipped with a number of processing units for
safety and ease of driving reasons, as advocated by ITS
(Intelligent Transportation Systems) applications ().
o Access networks deployed in public transportation (buses, trains,
taxis, aircrafts): they provide Internet access to IP devices
carried by passengers (laptop, camera, mobile phone); host
mobility within network mobility or PANs; network mobility within
network mobility, i.e., nested mobility (see  for the
definition of nested mobility).
o Ad-hoc networks connected to the Internet via an MR: for instance,
students in a train who need to both set up an ad-hoc network
among themselves and get Internet connectivity through the MR
connecting the train to the Internet.
Mobility of networks does not cause MNNs to change their own physical
point of attachment; however, they do change their topological
location with respect to the global Internet. If network mobility is
not explicitly supported by some mechanisms, the mobility of the MR
results in MNNs losing Internet access and breaking ongoing sessions
between arbitrary correspondent nodes (CNs) in the global Internet
and those MNNs located within the mobile network. In addition, the
communication path between MNNs and correspondent nodes becomes sub-
optimal, and multiple levels of mobility will cause extremely sub-
Mobility-related terms used in this document are defined in ,
whereas terms specifically pertaining to network mobility are defined
in . This document is structured as follows: in Section 2, we
define the rough objectives and methodology of the NEMO working group
to handle network mobility issues and we emphasize the stepwise
approach the working group has decided to follow. A number of
desirable design goals are listed in Section 3. Those design goals
then serve as guidelines to define the requirements listed in Section
4 for basic network mobility support .
2. NEMO Working Group Objectives and Methodology
The mechanisms required for handling network mobility issues were
lacking within the IETF standards when the NEMO working group (WG)
was set up at the IETF in 2002. At that time, work conducted on
mobility support (particularly in the Mobile IP working group) was to
provide continuous Internet connectivity and optimal routing to
mobile hosts only (host mobility support). Such mechanisms specified
in Mobile IPv6  are unable to support network mobility. The NEMO
working group has therefore been set up to deal with issues specific
to network mobility.
The primary objective of the NEMO work is to specify a solution that
allows mobile network nodes (MNNs) to remain connected to the
Internet and continuously reachable while the mobile router serving
the mobile network changes its point of attachment. The secondary
goal of the work is to investigate the effects of network mobility on
various aspects of Internet communication such as routing protocol
changes, implications of real-time traffic and fast handovers, and
optimizations. This should support the primary goal of reachability
for mobile network nodes. Security is an important consideration
too, and efforts should be made to use existing security solutions if
they are appropriate. Although a well-designed solution may include
security inherent in other protocols, mobile networks also introduce
To complete these tasks, the NEMO working group has decided to take a
stepwise approach. The steps in this approach include standardizing
a basic solution to preserve session continuity (NEMO Basic Support,
see ) and studying the possible approaches and issues with
providing more optimal routing with potentially nested mobile
networks (NEMO Extended Support, see  and  for a discussion on
routing optimization issues and  for a discussion on multihoming
issues). However, the working group is not chartered to actually
standardize a solution for Extended Support at this point in time.
If deemed necessary, the working group will be rechartered based on
the conclusions of the discussions.
For NEMO Basic Support, the working group assumes that none of the
nodes behind the MR is aware of the network's mobility; thus, the
network's movement needs to be completely transparent to the nodes
inside the mobile network. This assumption accommodates nodes inside
the network that are not generally aware of mobility.
The efforts of the Mobile IP working group have resulted in the
Mobile IPv4 and Mobile IPv6 protocols, which have already solved the
issue of host mobility support. Since challenges to enabling mobile
networks are vastly reduced by this work, basic network mobility
support has adopted the methods for host mobility support used in
Mobile IP and has extended them in the simplest way possible to
achieve its goals. The Basic Support solution, now defined in 
following the requirements stated in Section 4 of the present
document, is for each MR to have a Home Agent (HA), and use bi-
directional tunneling between the MR and HA to preserve session
continuity while the MR moves. The MR acquires a Care-of Address
(CoA) at its attachment point much like what is done for mobile hosts
(MHs), using Mobile IP. This approach allows nested mobile networks,
since each MR will appear to its attachment point as a single node.
3. NEMO Support Design Goals
This section details the fundamental design goals the solutions will
intend to achieve. Those design goals serve to define the issues and
to impose a list of requirements for forthcoming solutions. Actual
requirements for NEMO Basic Support are in Section 4; NEMO Extended
Support is not yet considered at the time of this writing.
3.1. Migration Transparency
Permanent connectivity to the Internet has to be provided to all
MNNs, since continuous sessions are expected to be maintained as the
mobile router changes its point of attachment. For maintaining those
sessions, MNNs are expected to be reachable via their permanent IP
3.2. Performance Transparency and Seamless Mobility
NEMO support is expected to be provided with limited signaling
overhead and to minimize the impact of handovers on applications, in
terms of packet loss or delay. However, although variable delays of
transmission and losses between MNNs and their respective CNs could
be perceived as the network is displaced, it would not be considered
a lack of performance transparency.
3.3. Network Mobility Support Transparency
MNNs behind the MR(s) do not change their own physical point of
attachment as a result of the mobile network's displacement in the
Internet topology. Consequently, NEMO support is expected to be
performed only by the MR(s). Specific support functions on any node
other than the MR(s) would better be avoided.
3.4. Operational Transparency
NEMO support is to be implemented at the level of IP layer. It is
expected to be transparent to upper layers so that any upper-layer
protocol can run unchanged on top of an IP layer extended with NEMO
3.5. Arbitrary Configurations
The formation of a mobile network can occur in various levels of
complexity. In the simplest case, a mobile network contains just a
mobile router and a host. In the most complicated case, a mobile
network is multihomed and is itself a multi-level aggregation of
mobile networks with collectively thousands of mobile routers and
hosts. While the list of potential configurations of mobile networks
cannot be limited, at least the following ones are desirable:
o Mobile networks of any size, ranging from a sole subnet with a few
IP devices to a collection of subnets with a large number of IP
o Nodes that change their point of attachment within the mobile
o Foreign mobile nodes that attach to the mobile network.
o Multihomed mobile network: either when a single MR has multiple
attachments to the internet, or when the mobile network is
attached to the Internet by means of multiple MRs (see definition
in  and the analysis in ).
o Nested mobile networks (mobile networks attaching to other mobile
networks (see definition in ). Although the complexity
requirements of these nested networks are not clear, it is
desirable to support arbitrary levels of recursive networks. The
solution should only impose restrictions on nesting (e.g., path
MTU) when this is impractical and protocol concerns preclude such
o Distinct mobility frequencies (see mobility factor in ).
o Distinct access media.
In order to keep complexity minimal, transit networks are excluded
from this list. A transit network is one in which data would be
forwarded between two endpoints outside of the network, so that the
network itself simply serves as a transitional conduit for packet
forwarding. A stub network (leaf network), on the other hand, does
not serve as a data forwarding path. Data on a stub network is
either sent by or addressed to a node located within that network.
3.6. Local Mobility and Global Mobility
Mobile networks and mobile nodes owned by different administrative
entities are expected to be displaced within a domain boundary or
between domain boundaries. Multihoming, vertical and horizontal
handoffs, and access control mechanisms are desirable to achieve this
goal. Such mobility is not expected to be limited for any
consideration other than administrative and security policies.
NEMO support signaling and processing is expected to scale to a
potentially large number of mobile networks irrespective of their
configuration, mobility frequency, size, and number of CNs.
3.8. Backward Compatibility
NEMO support will have to co-exist with established IPv6 standards
and not interfere with them. Standards defined in other IETF working
groups have to be reused as much as possible and extended only if
deemed necessary. For instance, the following mechanisms defined by
other working groups are expected to function without modification:
o Address allocation and configuration mechanisms.
o Host mobility support: mobile nodes and correspondent nodes,
either located within or outside the mobile network, are expected
to continue operating protocols defined by the Mobile IP working
group. This includes mechanisms for host mobility support (Mobile
IPv6) and seamless mobility (FMIPv6).
o Multicast support intended for MNNs is expected to be maintained
while the mobile router changes its point of attachment.
o Access control protocols and mechanisms used by visiting mobile
hosts and routers to be authenticated and authorized, gaining
access to the Internet via the mobile network infrastructure
o Security protocols and mechanisms.
o Mechanisms performed by routers deployed in both visited networks
and mobile networks (routing protocols, Neighbor Discovery, ICMP,
3.9. Secure Signaling
NEMO support will have to comply with the usual IETF security
policies and recommendations and is expected to have its specific
security issues fully addressed. In practice, all NEMO support
control messages transmitted in the network will have to be protected
with an acceptable level of security to prevent intruders from
usurping identities and forge data. Specifically, the following
issues have to be considered:
o Authentication of the sender to prevent identity usurpation.
o Authorization, to make sure the sender is granted permission to
perform the operation as indicated in the control message.
o Confidentiality of the data contained in the control message.
3.10. Location Privacy
Location privacy means hiding the actual location of MNN to third
parties other than the HA are desired. It is not clear to which
extend this has to be enforced, since it is always possible to
determine the topological location by analyzing IPv6 headers. It
would thus require some kind of encryption of the IPv6 header to
prevent third parties from monitoring IPv6 addresses between the MR
and the HA. On the other hand, it is at the very least desirable to
provide a means for MNNs to hide their real topological location to
3.11. IPv4 and NAT Traversal
IPv4 clouds and NAT are likely to co-exist with IPv6 for a long time,
so it is desirable to ensure that mechanisms developed for NEMO will
be able to traverse such clouds.
3.12. Minimal Impact on Internet Routing
Any NEMO solution needs have minimal negative effect on the global
Internet routing system. The solution must therefore limit both the
amount of information that must be injected into Internet routing, as
well as the dynamic changes in the information that is injected into
the global routing system.
As one example of why this is necessary, consider the approach of
advertising each mobile network's connectivity into BGP and, for
every movement, withdrawing old routes and injecting new routes. If
there were tens of thousands of mobile networks each advertising and
withdrawing routes, for example, at the speed that an airplane can
move from one ground station to another, the potential effect on BGP
could be very unfortunate. In this example, the total amount of
routing information advertised into BGP may be acceptable, but the
dynamic instability of the information (i.e., the number of changes
over time) would be unacceptable.
4. NEMO Basic Support One-Liner Requirements
For basic network mobility support, the NEMO WG is to specify a
unified and unique "Network Mobility (NEMO) Basic Support" solution,
hereafter referred to as "the solution". This solution is to allow
all nodes in the mobile network to be reachable via permanent IP
addresses, as well as maintain ongoing sessions as the MR changes its
point of attachment to the Internet topology. This is to be done by
maintaining a bi-directional tunnel between an MR and its Home Agent.
The NEMO Working Group, after some investigation of alternatives, has
decided to reuse and extend the existing Mobile IPv6  mechanisms
for tunnel management.
The list of requirements below has been imposed on the NEMO Basic
Support solution. The requirements have mostly been met by the
resulting specification, which can now be found in . Associated
deployment issues are discussed in .
R01: The solution must be implemented at the IP layer level.
R02: The solution must set up a bi-directional tunnel between a
mobile router and its Home Agent (MRHA tunnel).
R03: All traffic exchanged between an MNN and a CN in the global
Internet must transit through the bi-directional MRHA tunnel.
R04: MNNs must be reachable at a permanent IP address and name.
R05: The solution must maintain continuous sessions (both unicast and
multicast) between MNNs and arbitrary CNs after IP handover of
(one of) the MRs.
R06: The solution must not require modifications to any node other
than MRs and HAs.
R07: The solution must support fixed nodes, mobile hosts, and mobile
routers in the mobile network.
R08: The solution must allow MIPv6-enabled MNNs to use a mobile
network link as either a home link or a foreign link.
R09: The solution must ensure backward compatibility with other
standards defined by the IETF. In particular, this includes the
R09.1: The solution must not prevent the proper operation of
Mobile IPv6 (i.e., the solution must allow MIPv6-enabled
MNNs to operate either the CN, HA, or MN operations
defined in ).
R10: The solution must be agnostic to the internal configuration.
This means the solution will behave the same way if NEMO is
nested, comprises one or several subnets, or comprises MNNs that
are LFNs, VMNs, LFNs or a mixture of them.
R11: The solution must support at least 2 levels of nested mobile
networks, while, in principle, arbitrary levels of recursive
mobile networks should be supported.
R12: The solution must function for multihomed MRs and multihomed
mobile networks as defined in .
R13: NEMO support signaling over the bi-directional must be
R14: Signaling messages between the HA and the MR must be secured:
R14.1: The receiver must be able to authenticate the sender.
R14.2: The function performed by the sender must be authorized
for the content carried.
R14.3: Anti-replay must be provided.
R14.4: The signaling messages may be encrypted.
R15: The solution must ensure transparent continuation of routing and
management operations over the bi-directional tunnel (this
includes, e.g., unicast and multicast routing protocols, router
renumbering, Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCPv6)).
R16: When one egress interface fails, the solution may preserve
sessions established through another egress interface.
R17: The solution should have a minimal impact on the global Internet
5. Security Considerations
Security considerations of the NEMO Basic Support solution are
addressed in [RFC3963].
Section 3.9 of this document discusses the security goals for all
forms of existing and forthcoming NEMO solutions.
The material presented in this document takes most of its text from
discussions and previous documents submitted to the NEMO working
group. This includes initial contributions from Motorola, INRIA,
Ericsson, and Nokia. We are particularly grateful to Hesham Soliman
(Ericsson) and the IETF Area Directors (ADs) at the time (Erik
Nordmark and Thomas Narten), who greatly helped to set up the NEMO
working group. We are also grateful to all the following people
whose comments greatly contributed to the present document: T.J.
Kniveton (Nokia), Alexandru Petrescu (Motorola), Christophe Janneteau
(Motorola), Pascal Thubert (Cisco), Hong-Yon Lach (Motorola), Mattias
Petterson (Ericsson), and all the others who have expressed their
opinions on the NEMO mailing lists (formerly known as MONET).
Thierry Ernst wishes to personally acknowledge INRIA Rhone-Alpes and
Motorola Labs Paris for their support and direction in bringing up
this topic to the IETF in 2001--particularly Claude Castelluccia
(INRIA) and Hong-Yon Lach (Motorola)--and his past employer, Keio
University, Japan, which supported most of the costs associated with
the IETF during the timelife of previous versions of this document.
7.1. Normative References
 Ernst, T. and H. Lach, "Network Mobility Support Terminology",
RFC 4885, July 2007.
 Manner, J. and M. Kojo, "Mobility Related Terminology", RFC
3753, June 2004.
 Devarapalli, V., Wakikawa, R., Petrescu, A., and P. Thubert,
"Network Mobility (NEMO) Basic Support Protocol", RFC 3963,
7.2. Informative References
 "CALM - Medium and Long Range, High Speed, Air Interfaces
parameters and protocols for broadcast, point to point, vehicle
to vehicle, and vehicle to point communication in the ITS sector
- Networking Protocol - Complementary Element", ISO Draft ISO/WD
21210, February 2005.
 Johnson, D., Perkins, C., and J. Arkko, "Mobility Support in
IPv6", RFC 3775, June 2004.
 Ng, C., Thubert, P., Watari, M., and F. Zhao, "Network Mobility
Route Optimization Problem Statement", RFC 4888, July 2007.
 Ng, C., Zhao, F., Watari, M., and P. Thubert, "Network Mobility
Route Optimization Solution Space Analysis", RFC 4889, July
 Ng, C., Ernst, T., Paik, E., and M. Bagnulo, "Analysis of
Multihoming in Network Mobility Support", Work in Progress),
 Thubert, P., Wakikawa, R., and V. Devarapalli, "Network Mobility
(NEMO) Home Network Models", RFC 4887, July 2007.
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