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generic access network (GAN)

Generic Access Network (GAN) is a generic approach to a telecommunications system that creates convergence of mobile services between various cellular mobile networks - GSM, GPRS, UMTS - and WLANs. GAN users can communicate and interact with a wide variety of mobile devices. They can dial into operators' core networks via cellular networkbase stations and communicate with each other using dual- mode cell phones.

When a dual-mode cell phone detects a WLAN, it establishes a secure IP connection from the GAN gateway to the GAN controller in the operator's core network using the existing GSM and UMTS protocols. When the mobile device transitions from the mobile network to a radio LAN, it appears to the core network as if a device is using another base station. In terms of operating modes, a distinction is made between 1. operation via the cellular mobile network, 2. radio network operation if a cellular network is available, otherwise operation via WLAN, 3. WLAN operation and 4. preferential WLAN operation if a WLAN is available. The Generic Access Network supports roaming and handover between the different cellular networks and radio LANs.

The GAN approach corresponds to Unlicensed Mobile Access( UMA) and is one of the telecommunications systems specified by the Third Generation Partnership Project( 3GPP).

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