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An Automation PCI Allocation Method for eNodeB and Home eNodeB Cell

Ting WuLanLan RuiAo XiongShaoYong Guo

State Key Laboratory of Networking and Switching Technology Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications Beijing 100876, China
AbstractHow to use self-management techniques to reduce the cost of operation and maintenance for LTE Network has become a main challenge for telecommunication operators. In this paper, the allocation method of physical cell identifier (PCI) in LTE Network is analyzed, and an automation PCI allocation system (ACPIAS) framework is proposed. In addition, we propose a policy-based automation PCI allocation method which can modify the policy according to the PCI utilization and the scale of base station. Through this allocation method, the validity of PCI can be guaranteed and the frequency of conflict detection, repair and re-allocation process is reduced. The method can assign PCI not only for eNodeB cells but also for Home eNodeB (HeNB) cells in LTE Network. Finally, a simulation is proposed to validate the correctness of the allocation method. Keywords-component; PCI; Automation; Allocation Method; eNodeB ;Home eNodeB

quantity, limited coverage, the allocation of PCIs is becoming more difficult. Research on PCI mainly involves the allocation and conflict detection/processing. In paper [5] [6], a PCI conflict/processing method is introduced through the UE measurement report. 3GPP has present UE-based solution and Network-based solution [7] for PCI conflict processing. In the UE-based solution, when the conflict happens, UE is expected to read the system information of the cell to acquire the CGI. The eNodeB can then use the CGI to distinguish the cell. But the long period for UE reading the system message may result in handover failure. In the Network-based solution, the network (eNodeB for LTE) takes care of resolving the PCI conflict. A number of techniques of Network-based were under-consideration in 3GPP RAN WG2. In addition to that, in order to better identify HeNB cell for UE, 3GPP defines the PCI reservation mechanism and the specific reservation range of PCI is decided by operators. In a word, the current research focused on PCI-conflict detection / processing, but the view in this paper concerns PCI allocation, we put forward system architecture of PCI allocation system and the allocation method for eNodeB and HeNB cells. Through this allocation method, we can guarantee the PCI of cell is valid. Thereby the frequent conflict detection, repair, re-allocation process is avoided. Besides, the allocation algorithm is policy-based, operators can flexibility adjust strategy according to the utilization of PCI and the network scale. The remainder of the paper is organized as follows. In section II, we put forward some knowledge about PCI, such as allocation principle, system architecture, etc. In section III, the allocation method is described. The simulation experiment is presented in section IV, followed by conclusions in section V. II. A. ALLOCATION PRINCIPLE AND FRAMEWORK



Currently, telecommunication networks are becoming more and more complicated, enormous and heterogeneous. The continuously increasing difficulty of operation and maintenance caused huge operational expenditure (OPEX) [1].The traditional manual configuration and maintenance has become a bottleneck for the development of telecommunication operators. However, as the core technology of self-management, e.g. self-configuration, self-optimizing and the self-healing can significantly help operators to reduce OPEX and increase the competitive power [2]. As the first step for network towards self-running, good self-configuration work can make network running well in the early stage and reduce the pressure in self-optimizing stage. The allocation of PCI is one of the key problems in LTE network self-configuration work. Through listening to the broadcast messages of cell in LTE network, UE can use the PCI information obtained from the broadcast messages to identify the cell. Currently, 3GPP totally defined 504 PCIs [3]. Compared with the unique cell global identifier (CGI) [4], the set of PCIs are limited and reusable. By now, allocation of PCI is done mostly by manual planning which can make operation and maintenance person spend a lot of energy. Considering the allocation of PCI is not only for eNodeB cells, but also for HeNB cells, because of the special feature of HeNB, e.g. largeSupported by 973 project of China (2007CB310703), Supported by 863 Project of China (2008AA01Z201), NSFC (60802035, 60973108), and Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2009RC0504).

PCI allocation principle As the quantity of PCI is limited and can be reused, the allocation principles need to be defined to avoid the collision and confusion in allocation process. The principles for the allocation are as follows:

978-1-4244-3709-2/10/$25.00 2010 IEEE

1. 2. 3.

Collision-Free: there does not existing the same PCI in neighbor lists of cells. Confusion-Free: a cell shall not have neighbor cells with identical PCI. Reservation: The reserved PCI for HeNB cells can not be allocated to eNodeB cells, operators can set up reservation policy according to network condition.

policy from Policy Base, PCI Allocation Function will analysis and allocate the PCI for eNodeB and HeNB cells.
Network Management System

PCI Resource Base

Cell Information Base Neighbour List Info Cell State Info Cell Type Info

Policy Managemet

The above three principles will serve as the bases for automation PCI allocation. The specific collision, confusion and reservation scenario is shown in Figure 1.

PCI Allocation
Policy Analysis

Policy Base

Data Collection/Configuration Interface

HeNB Cell HeNB Cell HeNB Cell eNB Cell eNB Cell

Figure 2. APCIAS Framework


Cell Information Base: Mainly contains related information of cell, e.g. cell state information, type information and neighbor list information. Cell state information take a special attention on HeNB cell because of its power on or off is arbitrary. If the state of HeNB is power on, system will allocate a PCI, on the contrary, the allocated PCI will be released. Cell Type information: The main purpose of this information is to differentiate the HeNB cell and eNodeB cell. Neighbor List information: This information contains neighbor cells of each cell and their PCI.

Figure 1. PCI allocation principle

As shown in Figure 1, the confusion is that Cell A and Cell B is mutual neighbor, but their PCIs are the same. Collision is that cell C and D have the common neighbor cell B but they are using the same PCI value. In addition, we assume the reservation range for HeNB cells are from 1 to 10. In the figure above, as a macro cell, Cell F uses PCI 9, which is reserved for HeNB cells. B. Automation PCI Allocation System Framework In order to make the PCI allocation process automatically, in this section, the framework of (Automation PCI Allocation System) APCIAS is proposed. Through this system, PCI is allocated autonomously and flexibly according to the utilization of PCI and network status. The framework of system is designed as shown in Figure 2. APCIAS consists of 6 elements: data collecting/configuration interface [8], cell information base, PCI allocation, policy base, policy management, PCI resource base. A. Policy Base: Including the PCI allocation policy, e.g. HeNB cell reservation policy, PCI allocation policy (luxury or multiplex). Luxury and multiplex policy will be defined in the next section. The policy can be created, edited and modified by the operators or through the PCI allocation feedback information. Policy Management: Operators can create, edit and modify the policy through this module. PCI Allocation: According to the obtained information from Cell Information Base, PCI Resource Base and the


Data Collection/Configuration Interface: this module has the responsibility to collect related information about PCI from eNodeB and HeNB cells, e.g. cell type, state and the neighbor relations, etc. PCI Resources Bases: PCI usage condition is stored in resources base, the structure of base is shown in TABLE I.


In addition to the above modules, in order to facilitate the operators monitor PCI utilization and edit the allocation policy, APCIAS still needs to interact with network management system.

B. C.

PCI Number Free Allocated cell Yes/No Null or Cell A&Cell B&Cell C 0503 Note: Null represents the PCI is free, Cell A & Cell B & Cell C shown PCI is used by cell A,B and C



Based on allocation principles and the architecture of APCIAS, in this part, we put forward PCI allocation method which can select the luxury or multiplex policy according to the PCI utilization and network condition. Luxury Allocation: When the free PCI in resources base are rich and the quantity of base station are small, e.g. in rural areas. In this case, free PCI can be allocated to the cells directly. Multiplex Allocation: When the free PCI in resources base are not rich and the quantities of base station are huge, e.g. in urban areas. We can reuse the PCI allocated to other cells without violating allocation principles.

Reuse-factor: the minimal number of cells contained between two cells. In order to make the two cells have the same PCI without violating any allocation principle, the reusefactor>=2.

Detailed allocation procedure is shown in Figure 3.

The cycle of luxury allocation is short, and easy to implement, but it may cause a waste of valuable PCI resources. Compared with luxury allocation, due to the need of obtaining information from neighbor cells, multiplex allocation is more complicated and time-consuming, but the utilization of PCI is very high. The specific PCI allocation procedure is shown as follows Step.1. Cell Information Query: PCI allocation module obtained information of cell ready to be assigned a PCI, e.g. cell id, cell type (HeNB cell or eNodeB cell). Step.2. PCI Usage Query: PCI allocation module gets the current PCI resource usage condition, e.g. PCI utilization, multiplex condition. Step.3. Policy obtained: according to the information obtained from the step 1 and 2, APCIAS will create the corresponding policy, e.g. PCI reservation policy, luxury/multiplex allocation policy, etc. The example of the policy is shown as follows: Policy A: value=R1*PCI utilization*K + R2*Base station number ( Ri = 1, i = 1, 2 ); If <value > x> Then <using multiplex allocation> Else <using luxury allocation>
Figure 3. eNodeB PCI Allocation prodecure

A) Luxury Allocation 1) PCI allocation module query the PCI resources base and return the free PCI list. 2) Allocating a free PCI randomly from returned list 3) Distribute the PCI for eNodeB through the interface of data collecting and configuration. 4) Update PCI resources base, e.g. the information of PCI free condition and PCI allocation result. 5) Because the PCI of current cell is allocated by luxury method, the allocation result will not violate allocation principle 2 and 3. But if this cell is a new deployed one ,it may become a common neighbor of other two separate cells.If these two cells own the same PCI, the allocation principle 1 is violated and collision happens.In order to solve this problem, one of the PCI of collision cells must be modified. Modification principles has been proposed in [6],after the principles is settled, APCIAS will allocate a new PCI to the collision cell according to the policy. B) Multiplex Allocation 1) Query cell information base and obtain the neighbors relation information and the PCI which is being used by neighbors. 2) According to the allocation principle, we obtain the PCIs that current cell can not use and made up PCI blacklist. 3) On the basis of reuse-factor created in policy, the potential list is made up.

Note: R1, R2 and K can be defined by operators. Policy B: If <

HeNBCell * 100% >x% eNBCell

>then <p<=HeNB

Cell PCI Range<=q> Note: x, p and q can be defined by operators. Step.4. Policy Analysis and Implementation: The function of policy analysis is embedded in the PCI allocation module. Through this function, module can analyze the obtained policy and then implement it. Because of special feature of HeNB cell, the procedure of PCI allocation implementation is not the same with eNodeB cell. In the following part, the eNodeB and HeNB cells implementation procedure are introduced separately.
A. eNodeB cells PCI allocation Before present allocation method, firstly, we introduce concept of reuse-factor.

4) Delete the PCI which is present both in blacklist and potential list and finally, the left potential list will become the multiplex list. 5) Select a PCI from the multiplex list for the current cell randomly. 6) Distribute the PCI for eNodeB cell through the interface of data collecting and configuration. 7) Update PCI resources base, such as the information of PCI free condition and PCI allocation result. 8) Collision detection is the same as luxury . HeNB cells PCI allocation To HeNB cells, due to its limited coverage, the allocation of PCI is different with eNodeB cells. In an area covered by eNodeB cells, the PCI assigned to HeNB cells must be unique, but in another area, because there is rarely existing neighbors between HeNB cells, reusing the PCIs have been assigned previously is reasonable. B.

Cell 6 Cell 7 Cell 8 Cell 9 Cell 10 Cell 11 Cell 12 Cell 13 Cell 14 Cell 15 Cell 16 Cell 17 Cell 18 Note:

eNB cell 8 8 collision with cell 4 eNB cell 7 6 eNB cell 13 14 eNB cell 11 12 confusion with cell 2 eNB cell 12 7 HeNB cell 0 0 HeNB cell 1 1 HeNB cell 2 3 HeNB cell 3 4 HeNB cell 0 2 HeNB cell 1 2 collision with cell 15 HeNB cell 3 1 HeNB cell 2 3 means there is a collision or confusion

From the table above, we can known that APCIA can ensure the PCI assigned to cells not violate allocation principles. On the contrary, Random allocation causes lots of errors e.g. Cell 3 and Cell 1 is collision, Cell 5 and Cell 3 is confusion, Cell 9 and Cell 2 are confusing and so on. Although the total number of PCI in this experiment is less than 3GPP has defined, but we believe our method can work well even though the total number of PCI is equal to 504. V. CONCLUSION AND FUTURE WORK



In order to analyze and illustrate the effect of the allocation method, we compare the random allocation method [9] and automation PCI allocation (APCIA) discussed in this paper. The experiment scenario is shown in Figure 4.

In this paper, we discuss the problem of PCI automation allocation in LTE network. We propose an APCIAS and APCIA method which can apply to eNodeB and HeNB cells. Finally, the comparison between APCIA and the Random allocation method shows our method can finish the PCI allocation correctly. Through APCIAS, the planning time of PCI is reduced and correctness is improved. In the next step, we will continue research the related work about self-configuration in LTE network, e.g. eNodeB and HeNB cell neighbor relation set up. REFERENCES
[1] [2] SOCRATES_D2.4 Framework for self-organising networks. Xiangping Meng, Lusheng Yan, Lanlan Rui, Zhipeng Gao and Xuesong Qiu,A Policy-based self-configuration management mechanism for Home NodeB,IEEE APCC,2009, pp. 778 - 781 3GPP TS 36.211 Physical Channels and Modulation (Release 9),2009 .3GPP TS 36.300 E-UTRAN Overall Description,2009 Mehdi Amirijoo, Pl Frenger, Fredrik Gunnarsson, Harald Kallin, Johan Moe, Kristina Zetterberg ,Neighbor Cell Relation List and Physical Cell Identity Self-Organization in LTE,IEEE ICC Workshops, 2008,pp 7-41 Mehdi Amirijoo, Pl Frenger, Fredrik Gunnarsson, Harald Kallin, Johan Moe, Kristina Zetterberg Neighbor Cell Relation List and Measured Cell Identity Management in LTE,IEEE NOMS,2008,pp.152-159 Assen Golaup, Mona Mustapha, and Leo Boonchin Patanapongpibul, Vodafone Group ,Femtocell Access Control Strategy in UMTS and LTE,IEEE MCOM,2009 ,pp.117-123 Rui Lan-lan, Meng Luo-ming, Qiu Xue-song Information Modeling and Autonomic Configuration Management of Femto Network,IEEE WICOM , 2009,pp 1-5 Pl Frenger, Fredrik Gunnarsson, Harald Kallin, Ove Linnell and Johan Moe Smart Simplicity in radio network management, Ericsson Review No. 2, 2008

Figure 4. eNodeB PCI Allocation prodecure

For simplicity, we have the following assumptions about this experiment, each eNodeB or HeNB only own one cell and have an oval-shaped coverage area. The neighbor relationship of these cells has been setup in advance but the PCIs of cell are empty. The reuse-factor is assigned 2. In this scenario, there are total 10 eNodeB cells and 8 HeNB cells. In order to simulate the luxury and multiplex allocation procedure, we assume the total number of PCI equals to 15, numbered 0 to 14, and the reservation range for HeNB cell is 0~4. The simulation result is shown in TABLE II.
TABLE II. Cell ID Cell 1 Cell 2 Cell 3 Cell 4 Cell 5 Type eNB cell eNB cell eNB cell eNB cell eNB cell PCI ALLOCATION RESULT COMPARISON APCIA 8 6 5 7 9 Random 9 12 9 8 9 Error reason

[3] [4] [5]





collision with cell 1 confusion with cell 3