Summary: To support mobile multicasting in wireless networks, we present a new active multicasting mechanism which makes use of the state characteristic of multicast agent. In this mechanism, a multicast agent just locates the position for roaming hosts when it does not forward multicast packets. Upon reception of multicast packets, the multicast agent adjusts the service range to achieve an appropriate balance between routing efficiency and the overhead of multicast tree reconstruction. Therefore, a lot of unnecessary tree reconstructions are eliminated during the time when none multicast packet is transferred and multicast delivery path is near optimal because of the limited service range of multicast agent in the active state. To justify the effectiveness of our proposed scheme, we develop an analytical model to evaluate the signaling overhead. Our performance analysis shows that the proposed scheme can significantly reduce the system overhead and multicast routing is near optimal. The other important contribution is the novel analytical approach in evaluating the performance of mobile multicast routing protocol.