Bootstrapping LAN Access Using PPP Configuration via OBEX Object Transfe
Original Publication Date: 1999-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-18
Disclosed is a method to simplify the process of configurating of a mobile computer equipped with Bluetooth (TM) wireless radio technology for LAN Access Using PPP. A configuration file or Wizard for the mobile computer is prepared offline by an administrator, placed into an administrator workstation also equipped with a Bluetooth module, then transferred wirelessly to the mobile computer using a default or easily-configured Bluetooth communications pathway, namely serial port emulation. The data records to be transferred are formatted using object data formats defined by the Object Exchange (OBEX) forum, that will be supported by the majority of Bluetooth devices. LAN Access Using PPP (also called PPP/RFCOMM) is the first Bluetooth standard that will provide any type of connectivity for the IP stack. It is based on serial port emulation over the IETF standard Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP). This standard will be the only way for mobile PCs to connect to the first wave of Bluetooth LAN access points that are expected to first ship in 2000 and likely to be the dominant kind into 2001. Likewise, until a second-generation Bluetooth standard is created and implemented, PPP/RFCOMM is also the only way to set up ad-hoc wireless IP networking between a pair, or among a group, of Bluetooth devices. PPP/RFCOMM imposes a difficult configuration burden on the mobile computer client. To relieve this burden, the following steps are suggested. Before a new mobile client is delivered to its ultimate end-user in the enterprise, an administrator loads it with appropriate PPP/Bluetooth configuration(s) by means of a configuration file or Wizard. The administrator does this by bringing the device into radio proximity with an administration server and running a special application on the server. The server could be a PC with a Bluetooth radio. This proposal assumes that any two Bluetooth devices that will connect (such as the client being configured and the administration server) possess suitable Bluetooth configuration parameters for authentication and encryption. The bootstrap application uses a default Bluetooth communications pathway that is very easy to configure, or is already configured by deliver the configuration file or Wizard to the client. Then the configured mobile client is given to the end-user. Thus the Bluetooth user's expectation of unconscious, automatic, anytime-anywhere connectivity is met with no hassles, no frustrating guesswork, no help desk calls, and no lost productivity.