Mobile IP Agent Discovery, and Agent Advertisement and Solicitation Messages
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When a mobile node is first turned on, it cannot assume that it is still at home the way normal IP devices do. It must first determine where it is, and if it is not at home, begin the process of setting up datagram forwarding from its home network. This process is accomplished by communicating with a local router serving as an agent, through the process called agent discovery.
Agent discovery encompasses the first three steps in the simplified five-step Mobile IP operational summary I gave in the topic on general operation. The main goals of agent discovery include the following:
Mobile IP agents are routers that have been given additional programming to make them Mobile IP aware. The communication between a mobile node and the agent on its local network is basically the same as the normal communication required between a device on an IP network and its local router, except more information needs to be sent when the router is an agent.
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