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An Analysis of GSM Handover based On Real Data

An Analysis of GSM Handover based On Real Data

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Published by ijcsis
Handover decisions in GSM networks are based on the difference in received signal strength, between the serving cell and the neighboring cells. But in a practical scenario, particularly in city area ,considering difference in signal level strength alone , is an inferior criteria to decide handover issue ,because the towers are in close proximity & the absolute signal strength is quite good to continue the communication ,without much difficulty .Also, in these environments, multipath reflections, scattering due to moving vehicles & diffraction from multiple building edges ,contributes to poor signal quality, hence forcing the mobile to transmit more power to continue the communication.
Continuation of an active call is one of the most important quality measures in the cellular systems. Handover process enables a cellular system to provide such a facility by transferring an active call from one cell to another. Different approaches have been proposed and applied in order to achieve better handover service, by various researchers. The principal parameters considered in the present work, which are used to evaluate handover techniques are: Received signal quality (RxQual), FER, Received signal level, MS-BS distance, transmit power (TxPower) & aggregate C/I.
In the present work, thorough analysis has been done for the received signal strength difference threshold, along with other RF quality parameters. To ensure best performance to all mobile users at all times and all locations an active set of parameters has been calculated for critical values along with signal strength difference threshold.
Handover decisions in GSM networks are based on the difference in received signal strength, between the serving cell and the neighboring cells. But in a practical scenario, particularly in city area ,considering difference in signal level strength alone , is an inferior criteria to decide handover issue ,because the towers are in close proximity & the absolute signal strength is quite good to continue the communication ,without much difficulty .Also, in these environments, multipath reflections, scattering due to moving vehicles & diffraction from multiple building edges ,contributes to poor signal quality, hence forcing the mobile to transmit more power to continue the communication.
Continuation of an active call is one of the most important quality measures in the cellular systems. Handover process enables a cellular system to provide such a facility by transferring an active call from one cell to another. Different approaches have been proposed and applied in order to achieve better handover service, by various researchers. The principal parameters considered in the present work, which are used to evaluate handover techniques are: Received signal quality (RxQual), FER, Received signal level, MS-BS distance, transmit power (TxPower) & aggregate C/I.
In the present work, thorough analysis has been done for the received signal strength difference threshold, along with other RF quality parameters. To ensure best performance to all mobile users at all times and all locations an active set of parameters has been calculated for critical values along with signal strength difference threshold.

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Published by: ijcsis on Aug 13, 2011
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(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 9, No. 7, 2011
An Analysis of GSM Handover based On Real Data
Isha Thakur
Bhavana Jharia Gopal Chandra Manna
 
ME Student, Communication System Associate Professor, Depptt. Of EC Sr. General Manager
 
Engineering Branch Jabalpur Engineering College BSNL, JabalpurJabalpur Engineering College, M.P., India M.P, India M.P, Indiaishathakur_4@yahoo.com dr.bhavana.jharia@jec-jabalpur.org gcmanna@gmail.com
 Abstract
 — 
Handover decisions in GSM networks are based on thedifference in received signal strength, between the serving celland the neighboring cells. But in a practical scenario,particularly in city area ,considering difference in signal levelstrength alone , is an inferior criteria to decide handover issue,because the towers are in close proximity & the absolute signalstrength is quite good to continue the communication ,withoutmuch difficulty .Also, in these environments, multipathreflections, scattering due to moving vehicles & diffraction frommultiple building edges ,contributes to poor signal quality, henceforcing the mobile to transmit more power to continue thecommunication.Continuation of an active call is one of the mostimportant quality measures in the cellular systems. Handoverprocess enables a cellular system to provide such a facility bytransferring an active call from one cell to another. Differentapproaches have been proposed and applied in order to achievebetter handover service, by various researchers. The principalparameters considered in the present work, which are used toevaluate handover techniques are: Received signal quality(RxQual),
FER
, Received signal level, MS-BS distance, transmitpower (TxPower) & aggregate C/I.In the present work, thorough analysis has been done forthe received signal strength difference threshold, along withother RF quality parameters. To ensure best performance to allmobile users at all times and all locations an active set of parameters has been calculated for critical values along withsignal strength difference threshold.
 Keywords:
 
 Received signal quality (RxQual), FER, Received  signal level (RxLev on uplink and downlink), MS-BS distance, transmit power (TxPower) & aggregate C/I.
I.
 
I
NTRODUCTION
 Traditional handover algorithms are based on relativesignal strength, relative signal strength with threshold, relativesignal strength with hysteresis, relative signal strength withhysteresis and threshold [1] [2]. Handover analysis uses fuzzylogic based prediction techniques
 
also [3] [4].Later anextensive study found that the received signal strength(RxLev) & the received signal quality (RxQual), are the primeparameters in the handover decision. However ,consideringthe RxLev and RxQual ,alone, is not sufficient to provide theaccurate result for optimum handover solution .So, there is aneed of a new handover scheme which not only considerRxQual and RxLev ,but also some other important parameters,for a better handover process .In the present work ,we focus our attention onincorporating some more decision criterion in the handoveralgorithm .After an extensive study of the GSM measurementreports obtained from a telecom company, it has beenvalidated that the transmit power (TxPower) ,aggregate C/I &the FER ,should be given due importance in the handoverdecision ,along with RxLev and RxQual. The reason behindincorporating these parameters is explained ahead.In the dedicated mode, TxPower consumes the batterypower of the mobile handset .Normally the acceptable rangeof the TxPower is between 5 and 15, where 5 is the desiredvalue. .Hence, TxPower has been proposed to be an importantparameter in the handover decision process. The
FER
mayincrease in two cases (1) If the complete frame is lost ordestroyed in transmission and (2) Frame could not be obtainedbecause error correcting code is destroyed .Hence, FER is aconsiderable parameter in handover decision. Similarly theinterference level received from all the interference sources inthe system should be given due importance in the criterion listfor the handover decision .The desired carrier level and theinterfering carrier level are calculated and measured indBm.For convenience, we normally use the
C/I 
ratio todetermine whether an interference case is acceptable or not.Since in the real time cellular systems, handover failuremay occur due to a number of practical issues, by introducingadditional criteria for handover decision making, spurioushandover can be avoided to a large extent. Conventionaltechniques suffer from inefficiencies caused by the fact that inthe practical scenario, particularly in city area, difference insignal level strength has proved to be an inferior criteria todecide handover issue .To overcome these limitations, theauthors has proposed an active set of parameters along withtheir optimum values which can be used to provide betterhandover decision efficiency.
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(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 9, No. 7, 2011
The rest of the article is organized as follows. Section IIreviews related works. Section III gives analysis of thehandover algorithm. In Section IV, results are discussed, asobtained from the model. Finally, conclusions and futureperspectives are discussed in Section V.II. LITERATURE REVIEWSeveral aspects of the analytical handover model have beeninvestigated in the previous works. An analytic model of handover algorithm has been presented in [5, 6, 7] based onthe level crossings of the difference between the signalstrengths received from two base stations in a log normalfading environment. The basic model has the route of themobile chosen to be the straight line between two BSs. Twoimportant performance indicators of a handover algorithm arethe mean number of handoffs for this route and the delay inhanding off, both of which need to be minimized. The tradeoff curve between these two conflicting indicators was drawn inorder to determine the amount of hysteresis and averaging tobe used in the algorithm.In [5], the validity of the Poisson model has beendemonstrated for the specific case where the signal strength isstationary. The handover process was studied in terms of certain level crossings of the difference between the receivedsignal strength from two BSs; the model works well where itis most needed, in the range of optimal parameters. This work has been extended in [6, 7] for the no stationary case, in whichthe level crossings are modeled as Poisson process with time-varying rate functions. Further, theoretical analysis using levelcrossings is given in [8]. In [9], the model was applied toobtain certain criteria for designing practical handoff algorithm, especially for designing algorithms that are robustwith respect to variations in the radio propagationenvironment. This includes extensions of the model to takeinto account the absolute value of the signal strength from thecurrent BS to avoid handoffs when the weaker signal is strongenough, has been shown in [10].It has been observed that the analysis done in the previouswork on handover ,has been validated by simulation resultsonly .None of the work has been done on the practical data tovalidate their findings .However in the present paper ,theeffect of several performance metrics (RxLev,RxQual,
FER
,Aggregate C/I &TxPower ) on the handover decision has beenvalidated by analyzing the measurement data ,as obtainedfrom the drive test results in GSM network, from Katni townof Madhya Pradesh state ,India.III. HANDOVER ANALYSISHandover initiation criteria analyzed in the presentpaper is based essentially on five variables: the received signallevel (RxLev), received signal quality (RxQual),
FER
,transmit power (Txpower) & aggregate C/I value. In order tostudy the effect of the above mentioned variables on thehandover decision, extensive analysis of the GSMmeasurement data has been carried out .Out of total 21handovers, few handovers were like transit entry into cell, fewwere false handover triggers and only in 10 cases, the callcontinued for appreciable time i.e. the handover was stable.The data collected before and after handover were reliableand taken into consideration for detailed study.
 A. Parameter Evaluation
We start the analysis by studying the behavior of various performance metrics with respect to the distancebetween serving base station & the mobile unit. The line of sight distance is calculated for a number of cells using thedistance Haversine formula as underDist_Los= SQRT (POWER (F, 2) +POWER (K, 2)Where,F=height of the BTS antenna in meterK=non-line of sight distance in meterWhere,K= (ACOS (SIN(C)*SIN (H) +COS(C)*COS (H)*COS (J-E)))*6371*1000Where,C=latitude of BTS antennaE=longitude of BTS antennaH=latitude of mobile stationJ=longitude of mobile stationRadius of earth 6371 KmOnce the distance values are obtained, the plots betweenthis distance & the respective parameter is plotted.
1)
 
 RxLev vs. Distance
Ideal plot of the RxLevel verses distance ,will be the onein which the RxLevel value should exhibit a downtrend withan increasing distance .One of the plots shown in figure.1,exhibits this behavior .As the distance between the mobilestation & the serving base station increases ,the receivedsignal level decreases .The entry to this cell occurred at adistance about 320m, from 320 m to ~340m, the signalstrength varies heavily from -60 dam to -77dbm whichindicates that the recording are done at shade coupled withheavy transient reflections form neighboring moving vehicles .As the distance is increased, line of sight is available, signalstrength was stable and there were gradual fall with distance.The points where the handover situation occurs, are identifiedby observing the sudden downtrend in the RxLev .Once these
69http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ISSN 1947-5500
 
(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 9, No. 7, 2011
points are known, the behavior of the RxLevel over thesepoints is recorded for observation.
 
Figure 1. RxLev vs. Distance
2)
 RxQual vs. Distance
RxQual is a value between 0 and 7, where each valuecorresponds to an estimated number of bit errors in a numberof bursts. Each RxQual value corresponds to the estimated bit-error rate according, which varies from BER <0.2% forRxQual 0, 0.8 %< BER<1.6% for RxQual 3 and BER >12.8%for RxQual 7.
 
The RxQual value showing an increase contributes to thehandover decision making .The variation of this parameterwith the distance ,one of which is shown as under in Figure.2.At the entry into the cell, RxQual had wide variation whichshows presence of strong interference .Slowly this situationimproves as the vehicle goes slightly away where a dominantpart in line of sight signal .At the end ,few observations showRxQual>4 which indicated requirement of handover .Overallpositive slope indicated healthy situation for handoverprediction .Figure 2. RxQual vs. Distance
3)
 
FER vs. Distance
 
In the cellular communication, not only the continuation of the call is necessary but also quality of speech is an essentialparameter in analyzing the performance of handoveralgorithms. The Frame Error Rate (
FER
) measurement is usedby the mobile to detect bad frames. The mobile starts thesubstitution and muting process, and within 300 ms of badframe reception it completely mutes the speech. Out of 104,
 FER
measurements are done over 100 frames, whichcorrespond to ~2 s of speech. The variation of %
FER
with thedistance between the serving BTS & the MS is as shown infigure 3.In contrast to observations in case of RxLevel andRxQual ,FER shows better performance at the near region andeven at the far region with exception in the middle. Thisshows strong immunity of GSM system from frame errors.But, the overall trend was in upward direction indicatingcontribution of this parameter for handover decision.Figure 3.
FER
vs. Distance4)
 
 Aggregate C/I vs. Distance
 The aggregate carrier-to-Interference (C/I) ratio is the ratio,expressed in dB, between a desired carrier (C) and aninterfering carrier (I) received by the same receiver. Thevariation of the aggregate C/I with the distance (Figure.4),better than 15dBm in most cases shows that it has only aminor effect on the handover decision, but considered here as ithas positive
 
slope.
70http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ISSN 1947-5500

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