Micro and macro mobility are terms used to describe different methods of dealing with mobility management. Micro mobility techniques are used when mobiles move between individual base stations - micro means small and so micro mobility techniques are used for small moves.

Macro means big, so macro mobility techniques are used for large moves between different
networks. So, for example, when you take your GSM telephone from your home network in Sweden, and move to a new network in a different country, for example in England, you are moving to a new network and therefore the mobility management is solved using macro mobility techniques.

Now, you may have spotted there is a grey area in this definition. If micro mobility is moving between base stations and macro mobility is moving between networks, what term do we use for moving between different serving nodes?

There is no right and wrong answer here; it depends on the techniques implemented in the
network. For example, in a GSM network the same techniques are used when mobiles move between base stations and between serving nodes. So, GSM solves the problem of moving between serving nodes with micro mobility techniques. Conversely, PDC, the Japanese mobile telephone standard, uses macro mobility techniques for mobiles moving between serving nodes, so moving from one serving node to another and moving from one network to another both use the same technique. It's simply a question of how the network is standardized.

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