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What is happening when you switch on your phone ?

Two possible procedures: 1. initial cell selection 2. cell selection based on stored information ————————————1. Initial cell selection procedure occurs. That is, UE tries to find a cell (not necessarily the best cell, but a usable cell) for it to camp on the cell. For a given frequency, UE does the below until it finds a working cell: There are roughly four steps for initial cell selection: 1. search for primary synchronization channel (P-SCH): chip and slot synchronization is done 2. frame synchronization via secondary synchronization channel (S-SCH): 3. find the primary scrambling code from the common pilot channel(CPICH): 4. tune to Primary common control physical channel (P-CCPCH) and decode the system information; check whether it is a suitable cell for camping ( PLMN code is broadcast) —————————Once you successfully camped on a cell, you can get the neighbor list from the system information and tries to camp on the best cell. 2. Frequency and scrambling code may be saved on the phone. The UE may try to synchronize into the cell after switch on, and if it fails, it may do the initial cell selection as above.

What is suitable cell to camp? (signal level cell selection criteria)
Among many, in this post, we focus on signal level perspective. Suitable cell is defined: Srxlev > 0 Squal > 0 Then, questions arise: what is Srxlev and Squal? Srxlev = Qrxlev_meas – Qrxlevmin – Pcompensation Qrxlevmin is the minimum received signal level defined for the cell (broadcast information). Qrxlevmin ranges from -115dBm to -25dBm. Here, we use RSCP (power measured by a receiver on a particular physical communication channel. It is used as an indication of signal strength, as a handover criterion, in downlink power control, and to calculate path loss).

0) UE_TXPWR_MAX_RACH is the broadcast value of the maximum RACH power and P_MAX is the UE maximum TX power.) Qqual_meas is the received CPICH Ec/Io at the receiver. UE measures the received power of CPICH channel from different cells (called the Monitored Set) and selects the one with the highest one as the serving cell. (broadcast value). What is the role of CPICH channel? CPICH is the reference channel used for cell selection and handover procedures.Pcompensation = Max (UE_TXPWR_MAX_RACH – P_MAX. ———————– Squal = Qqual_meas – Qqualmin Qqualmin is the minimum received signal quality defined for the cell. 1. Here we use CPICH Ec/Io( measurement defined as the ration of the received energy per chip and the total receiver interference plus noise power spectral density. Qrxlev_meas is the measured RSCP value at the device. .

s + Qhysts Rn = Qmeas. Qoffset. Assume that the UE belongs to network operator 1 (green). In this example. Based on the above definition the UE will select the strong cell for each carrier . S > 0 is fulfilled and the UE starts camping on this cell. The terminal receives all base stations but at different power levels. the parameters transferred and belonging to eNB1 do not fulfill S > 0 where the UE will move along with demodulating and decoding the information provided by eNB2. The decision to add or remove the Active Set depends on the ratio between the received CPICH level of the best cell and other cells. Now the PLMN does not correspond so the UE will continue with signal 3 (green) – and the PLMN will match. What is cell reselection? When camped on a cell. Squal <= Sintersearch in SIB3/4 Then.n is an offset parameter between the serving and the neighbor cells. Rs = Qmeas. Cell reselection Here.n – Qoffset. one possible scenario in a real network.n Rs is for the serving cell and Rn is for neighbor cell. that cell is selected. Pick the best cell with the largest R value. There are two other carriers also operating an LTE network but of course at different frequencies. for example. . Using this the UE will start with network operator 3 and figure out after decoding the SIB Type 1 that the PLMN saved on the USIM does not match to the transmitted one. The UE continues to use the information in SIB Type 1 and Type 2 to compute the cell selection criteria. the UE regularly search for a better cell according to the cell reselection criteria. Qhysts is for reduce ping-pong effects between serving and neighbor cells. the UE starts to measure the signal strengths of neighboring cells.2. If a better cell is found. which is operator 2 (red). From this information it will stop with its attempt and proceed to the next strongest signal.

slot and frame-level synchronization ? SCH (Synchronization channel) is used for time synchronization. i. which belong to the active set. The Cells that UE measures belong to one of the three categories: 1. The UE measures the cells on the Intra Frequency in order for the network to decide which cells to add in the Active Set. slot level synchronization. Categories of cells: Before we begin there are some terms that need to be discussed. User information is sent from all these cells. active set cells not included in the CELL_INFO_LIST shall not be considered in any event evaluation and measurement reporting. The UE shall only consider active set cells included in the variable CELL_INFO_LIST for measurement. In FDD.Which channels are used for chip. Cells. Secondary SCH helps to know frame synchronization. This channel is the first physical channel that a UE detects when it is switched on. An Active Set contains all the Cells that the UE is listening to and Transmitting to. the cells in the active set are involved in soft handover. . Primary SCH helps to know chip.e.

. Different Type of Cells Acceptable Cell Selection Cell An UE can always attempt an emergency call on a Acceptable Cell. Suitable cell satisfies some criteria: 1. Reporting of measurements of the detected set is only applicable to intra-frequency measurements made by UEs in CELL_DCH state. The network might ask the UE to report Detected Cells. which are neither in the CELL_INFO_LIST nor in the active set belong to the detected set. The acceptable cell satisfies certain criteria. which are not included in the active set. 4. even if it is set to "not allowed" the UE may select another intra-frequency cell. the UE must select another cell as follows: If the "Intra-frequency cell re-selection indicator" IE in Cell Access Restriction IE is set to value "allowed". i.e. the Intra-frequency cell re-selection indicator IE" shall be ignored. Cell selection criteria are fulfilled Suitable Cell Suitable cell is a cell on which UE can camp on to provide normal service. The System Information Block Sib11/12 or MCM contains the Cell Info List that the UE has to store to perform measurements. Cells. The cell should be part of the selected PLN or registered PLMN or equivalent PLMN. 2. The cell is not barred 5. The cell should not be barred 3. All the cells in the Cell Info List are either in Active Set and if not in Active Set then they are in Monitored Set. These are the cells that UE can see but were not sent in the Cell Info List. The cell selection criteria are full filled. If asked then the UE reports them whenever Measurement Reports are sent out. During an ongoing emergency call. the UE may select another cell on the same frequency If the "Intra-frequency cell re-selection indicator" IE is set to "not allowed" the UE shall not re-select a cell on the same frequency as the barred cell. Cells detected by the UE. 3. The cell is part of at least one LA which is not part of the forbidden LA list. 4. This setting is only applicable when Cell Barred State is set to On .2. but are included in the CELL_INFO_LIST belong to the monitored set. BARRED Cell: if a cell is barred.

Reserved Cell This is a cell on which camping is not allowed. System information 3 indicates whether a cell is barred or not. Cell Selection . Only particular UE are allowed to camp on a reserved cell.Barred Cell The UE is not allowed to camp on a barred cell.

the UE shall attempt to camp on the selected cell. NAS may control the cell selection by: . Cell Selection Process Whenever PLMN has been selected by NAS.A new PLMN is selected taking PLMN selection criteria into account.

If no suitable cell is found the Initial cell selection procedure shall be started. On each carrier. The UE shall scan all RF channels in the UTRA bands according to its capabilities to find a suitable cell. 0) (dB) UE_TXPWR_MA Maximum TX power level an UE may use when accessing the cell on . Once a suitable cell is found this cell shall be selected. UE shall select this cell to camp on and report this event to NAS so that NAS can do the necessary registration procedure. Criteria The cell selection S is full filled when: Srxlev > 0 and Squal > 0 Srxlev = Qrxlevmeas – Qrxlevmin – Pcompensation Squal = Qqualmeas – Qqualmin Where: Squal Srxlev Qqualmeas Cell Selection quality value (dB) Cell Selection RX level value (dB) Measured cell quality value. This is received signal. the UE need only search for the strongest cell. Minimum required RX level in the cell (dBm) max(UE_TXPWR_MAX_RACH – P_MAX. CPICH RSCP for FDD cells (dBm) Qqualmin Qrxlevmin Pcompensation Minimum required quality level in the cell (dB). The quality of the received signal expressed in CPICH Ec/N0 (dB) Qrxlevmeas Measured cell RX level value.g. For cell selection UE can use one of the following search procedures: Initial cell selection This procedure requires no prior knowledge of which RF channels are UTRA carriers. scrambling codes. Once the UE has found a suitable cell the UE shall select it. Stored information cell selection This procedure requires stored information of carrier frequencies and optionally also information on cell parameters. from previously received measurement control information elements.Ln Providing information on RAT(s) associated with the selected PLMN Maintaining set of forbidden registration areas. e. Providing list of equivalent PLMN If a suitable cell is found.

the UE shall select a suitable cell to camp on. the UE shall continue to search for an acceptable cell of any PLMN in state Any cell selection. Qrxlevmeas (RSCP): Received Signal Code Power (RSCP) is the received power on one code measured on the primary CPICH and is reported from physical layer. the UE shall use the Stored information cell selection procedure in order to find a suitable cell to camp on. If no suitable cell is found. . the UE shall select an acceptable cell to camp on. Purpose of camping on a cell in idle mode: • UE receives system information from the PLMN (BCH) • UE is able to establish an RRC connection (access of the network of the control channel of the cell on which it is camped – RACH/FACH) • PLMN knows (in most cases) the registration area of UE => paging on control channels within the registration area (PCH) • UE may receive cell broadcast services (BCH) Cell Selection when leaving connected mode When returning to idle mode from connected mode.Candidate cells for this selection are the cell(s) used immediately before leaving connected mode. UE_TXPWR_MAX_RACH: Received in SIB3/4 for serving cell or SIB11/12 for neighbor cell P_MAX: It is UE dependent value. When returning to idle mode after an emergency call on any PLMN.X_RACH P_MAX RACH (read in system information) (dBm) Maximum RF output power of the UE (dBm) Where to get these parameters? Qqualmeas (EcNo): Ratio of energy per modulating bit to the noise spectral density the quality. If no acceptable cell is found. Tells the quality of the cell and is reported from physical layer Qqualmin: Received in SIB3/4 for serving cell or SIB11/12 for neighbor cell. Candidate cells for this selection are the cell(s) used immediately before leaving connected mode.