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GSM Handover Problem

Analysis

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Objectives

o Upon completion of this course, you are supposed to be able to :


Understand the principles of handover

Analyze and solve handover problems

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Contents

1. Measurement Points of Handover

2. Handover Data Process

3. Analysis of Handover Problem

4. Handover Cases

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1 Measurement Points of
Handover

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Measurement Points of Handover
o Measurement Points of Intra BSC Handover (same BSC)

MS BTS(Source) BSC BTS(Target) MSC

Measurement Report

Measurement Report Attempted internal inter cell H.O

Handover decision

Channel Activation

Channel Activation ACK


Internal inter cell H.O
Handover Command (Old FACCH)

Handover Access (New FACCH)

Handover Complete (New FACCH) Successful internal inter cell H.O

RF Channel Release

Handover Performed

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Measurement Points of Handover

o Measurement Points of Intra BSC Handover

Handover formula definition


Inter cell radio handover success rate
= (Successful incoming internal inter cell handovers + Successful
outgoing internal inter cell handovers) / (Incoming internal inter cell
handovers + Outgoing internal inter cell handovers)
Internal inter cell handover success rate
= (Successful incoming internal inter cell handovers + Successful outgoing
internal inter cell handovers) / (Attempted incoming internal inter cell
handovers + Attempted outgoing internal inter cell handovers)

Inter cell radio handover success rate >= Internal inter cell handover success rate

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Measurement Points of Handover
o Measurement Points of Intra BSC Handover (different BSC)
MS BTS(Source) BSC MSC BSC BTS(Target)

Attempted outgoing inter BSC inter cell H.O

Measurement Report
Attempted incoming inter BSC inter cell H.O
Handover Required

Handover Request

Channel ACT

Channel ACT ACK

Handover Request ACK

Handover Command

Handover Access

Handover Detect

Handover Complete

Successful incoming inter BSC H.O

Handover Complete

Clear Command (HO successful)


Successful outgoing inter BSC H.O

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Measurement Points of Handover
o Measurement Points of Intra BSC Handover (different MSC)

MS BSC-A MSC-A MSC-B VLR-B BSC-B MS


HO--Required
HO Prepare_HO Allocate_HO_NUM

Send_HO_Report

Send_HO_Report_ACK
HO--Request
HO
Prepare_HO_ACK HO-Request-ACK
IAI
HO--Command
HO ACM
HO-Access
Process_Access_Signalling Some intermediate steps are omitted

HO--Complete
HO
Send_End_Signal
Clear--Command
Clear
Clear-Complete
Send_End_Signal_ACK

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Measurement Points of Handover

o Measurement Points of Intra BSC Handover


Inter BSC handover Success rate
= (Successful incoming inter BSC inter cell handovers + Successful outgoing inter
BSC inter cell handovers) / (Attempted incoming inter BSC inter cell handovers +
Attempted outgoing inter BSC inter cell handovers )
Incoming BSC handover Success rate
= (Successful incoming inter BSC inter cell handovers) / (Attempted incoming inter
BSC inter cell handovers)
Outgoing BSC handover Success rate
= (Successful outgoing inter BSC inter cell handovers ) / (Attempted outgoing inter
BSC inter cell handovers)

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2 Handover Data Process

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Handover Data Process

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Handover Data Process

o BCCH frequencies of all adjacent cells in BA2 table are sent to MS on system message 5

o MS reports measurement report to BSS. It includes the BCCH, BSIC and signal level of
the adjacent cells and serving cells

o When the measurement report is preprocessed, BSC determines the CGI of all
adjacent cells through BCCH frequency and BSIC

o BSC executes handover judgment flow such as basic cell ranking . Once a proper target
cell is found, the handover request message which includes the target cell CGI will be
sent to MPU of BSC , and then MPU will confirm the module ID of the cell based on the
CGI

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Handover Data Process

o MPU sends handover request message to the module and makes statistics of
"outgoing inter cell handover request". At the same time BSC send the channel
active to the BTS.

o If the target cell triggered by BSC is an external cell, the CGI of the target cell and
service cell is sent to MSC on the handover required.

o By matching the CGI of the target cell, MSC searches target cell . Once the cell is
found, MSC will confirm which BSC is belonged to, and send the handover request
message to this BSC.

o If there is no CGI of the target cell , MSC will check Adjacent MSC Table" and find the
target MSC, then send the handover request message to that MSC

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3 Analysis of Handover
Problem

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Analysis of Handover Problem

o Types of handover problem

o Location of handover problem

o Causes of handover problem

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Types of Handover Problems

o Types Possible Results


No handover Cause call drop

Handover failure Affect the conversation quality, and call drop

Frequent handover Affect the conversation quality and increase load of the
system

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Location of Handover Problem
o Traffic statistics analysis
Measurement of BSC overall performance
Measurement of inter cell handover performance
Measurement of outgoing/incoming inter cell handover performance
Measurement of performance of undefined adjacent cell

o View alarm
Board fault, transmission, clock, etc.

o Drive test

o Signaling analysis
A interface, E interface, Abis interface

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Causes of Handover Problem
o Coverage
o Interference
o Antenna and feeder system
o Base station hardware
o Transmission
o BSC hardware
o Data Configuration
o A interface
o Target cell congestion
o Cooperation with equipment of other manufacturers

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Causes of Handover Problem

Causes of HO Problem No H.O H.O Failure Frequent H.O


Coverage
Interference
Antenna and feeder system
BTS hardware
transmission
BSC hardware
Data configuration
A interface
Target cell congestion
H.O between equipment of
different manufactures

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Coverage and interference at radio
interface
o Coverage :
Poor coverage: forest, complicated topography, building direction and indoor
coverage

Isolated site: no adjacent cell

Over shooting: island effect result in no adjacent cell

o Interference : MS can not access network or receive any signal

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Island effect results in handover
failure

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Antenna and Feeder System
o High Voltage Standing Wave Ratio (VSWR)

o Antenna is not properly installed

o Antenna is not parallel

o The azimuth and downtilt are not correct

o Poor antenna isolation value

o RF cables, connection are loose or incorrect

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BTS hardware

o CDU, splitter/combiner failure

o TRX failure

o TMU failure

o Clock failure

o Internal communication cable

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Analysis of Handover Problem

o Transmission
Transmission is not stable

Serious BER in transmission

o Fault of BSC Hardware


Clock board: the faulty clock board causes clock inconsistency between base
stations

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Data configuration

o Unsuitable setting of handover hysteresis and handover priority

o Unsuitable setting of P, N value of statistic time

o Unsuitable frequency and adjacency relation configured in BA1/BA2 table

o CGI, BCCH and BSIC in "External Cell Description Table" are different from those in
the opposite BSC

o The DPC of BSC in MSC "LAI and GCI Table" is incorrect

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Analysis of Handover Problem

o A interface problem
Basically, the insufficient link resource results in the abnormal handover, as well as
abnormal communication

Circuit pool numbers are different ,causing the handover failure

o Target cell congestion


The target cell is congested, which causes the handover failure. Then the target
cell should be expanded or reduce its traffic

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Analysis of Handover Problem

o Handover between equipment of different manufacturers


The signaling at A interface, E interface of the opposite equipment are not
matched to our equipment and can not be recognized or supported, which causes
the handover failure, such as voice version, handover number, TUP circuit,
addressing mode (CGI or LAI)

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4 Handover Cases

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Handover Case 1

o Fault Description
A 1800 cell of a dual-band network (all the 1800 cells belong to one BSC), the
incoming handover success rate of incoming BSC and intra BSC are low from the
beginning of the service, while the outgoing handover success rate of intra-BSC and
inter-BSC are normal.

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Handover Case 1

o Analysis :
Register the traffic statistics and analyze whether the low handover success rate is
due to the failure of handover from all cells to this cell or from some few cells.

If handover fails from some few cells to this cell, check the handover data and see
whether there is co-channel and co-BSIC problem.

If handover fails from all other cells to this cell, check the data of this cell.

If data cause is ruled out, check the hardware carefully. Check the alarm or
perform drive test to locate uplink fault or downlink fault. Check step by step and
find out the cause

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Handover Case 1

o Solution :
Register the incoming inter cell handover measurement function and find that the
successful rate of handover from all other cells to this cell is low, although it is not
always 0 percent. Based on careful data checking, the data of this cell is correct.
Perform drive test and find that the downlink signal is normal but almost all
handovers to this cell are failure. Near the BTS, the handover is successful
occasionally. Perhaps the problem is with the uplink signal.
Check the uplink channel, antenna, CDU, they are no problem. Change the TRX ,
everything is normal.

o Conclusion :
The symptom is that the uplink and downlink at UM interface are unbalanced so
uplink voice quality is bad

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Handover Case 2

o Fault Description
After LAPD software upgrade of a dual-band network on 19th September, it was
found that some cells in module 4 under 1800 network are seriously congested (40
50), and overall handover indices of BSC come down from 95 to 90.
From "Inter -cell Hanover Measurement Function, it was found that besides module
4, some cells of other modules also suffer from the problem that inter cell handover
success rate is low. After 19th September, the situation became worse.

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Handover Case 2

o Analysis :
Check whether it is attributed to LAPD software upgrade

Analyze traffic statistics and the main causes of the failure to locate the problem

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Handover Case 2

o Solution :
Check whether it is attributed to LAPD software upgrade. After the upgrade, not all
cells under module 4 are congested and the handover indices of some cells are not
low. Upgrade isnt the cause.

Analyze traffic statistics :

Congested cells are mostly at site A and site B. Their traffics are lower than
before the upgrade. It is a pseudo congestion

The cells where handover success rate is low are mostly at site A, B, C, D and E ,
the main cause of the failure is timer timeout

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Handover Case 2

o Solution :
Check alarm: At 19:31 of 18th September, the clock system alarms of site A and
site B occurred. It is found that 13M clock isnt synchronous. The clock problem
result in low handover success rate of the two sites. Such impact spread to the
adjacent cells of these two cells and even affected the whole network.

Analyze handover data and traffic statistics : All cells where handover success rate
is low are adjacent to A and B except A and B themselves.

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Handover Case 2

o Solution :
Check alarm: At 19:31 of 18th September, the clock system alarms of site A and
site B occurred. It is found that 13M clock isnt synchronous. The clock problem
result in low handover success rate of the two sites. Such impact spread to the
adjacent cells of these two cells and even affected the whole network.

Analyze handover data and traffic statistics : All cells where handover success rate
is low are adjacent to A and B except A and B themselves.

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Handover Case 2

o Solution :
Reset site A and site B, the clock system is recovered, and the Handover success
rate inter/intra BSC goes up to 93. The problem is solved

o Conclusion :
The problem in clock system will result in low handover success rate. Pay attention
to the alarm console and the excursion of the clock system

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Handover Case 3

o Fault Description
Huawei BSC and another manufacturers BSC (S vender) are connected to the same
MSC. After cutover, MS can not handover from S BSC to Huawei BSC but opposite is
normal

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Handover Case 3

o Analysis :
Since incoming BSC handover request times is 0 but the outgoing handover is
normal. Carefully check the outgoing inter-cell handover signaling and handover
data at S BSC

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Handover Case 3

o Solution :
Trace interface message. After receiving HO-REQUEST message, Huawei BSC
returns HO-FAILURE message immediately. In normal conditions Huawei BSC
should return HO-REQ-ACK message. Carefully analyze HO-REQ message and HO-
FAILURE message

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Handover Case 3

o Handover failure :

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Handover Case 3

o HO-REQUEST :

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Handover Case 3

o Solution :
HO-FALUER: The cause of the failure is invalid message content

HO-REQUEST: The difference is basically the Address Indicator in comparison with


the normal handover request message. HUAWEI BSC does not recognize case 41.
The system thinks that Address Indicator must be 0x43. Inform the owner of
network, modify the relation parameter, and this problem is solved.

o Conclusion :
In cooperation with equipment of other manufacturers, faults can be located by
analyzing the signaling

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Handover Case 4

o Fault Description
Huawei MSC cooperate with MSC of N (vender). The communication is normal. The
Huawei intra BSC handover and incoming BSC handover are normal, but outgoing
BSC handover success rate is about 25%. The handover from the N BSC to Huawei
BSC is successful, but opposite is failure sometimes

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Handover Case 4

o Analysis :
Check handover data, including the external cell description table, BA2 table, cell
adjacency relation table inside Huawei BSC and N BSC and CGI at N MSC. If the
data are correct, check outgoing BSC handover signaling

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Handover Case 4

o Solution :
Check data: There is no fault in BSC and MSC of the two venders.
Check alarm: BTS maintenance console, No.7 link and A interface circuit are all
normal.
Trace Huawei A interface signaling. After "HO-REQUIRED" message is sent, "HO-
COMD" command is not received from MSC.
Trace MAP message at E interface (inter-MSC) with a signaling meter. It is found
that after receiving HO-Number, Huawei MSC never sends IAI (Initial Address
Information)

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Handover Case 4

o Solution :
Check HO-Number message from the opposite and find that the handover code
format is 130********(only a number of mobile telephone, no any prefix). But this
mobile company requires that roaming/handover between exchanges should be
in the format: 00+country code + roaming/handover number. In addition, Huawei
equipment does not recognize the handover number without 00+country code.
Therefore the signaling is halted.
Discuss with N, asking them to add "00+country code" before the handover
number. Then outgoing BSC handover is normal.

o Conclusion :
Problems can be located quickly and accurately if you are familiar with the
signaling flow of handovers

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Handover Case 5

o Fault Description
In the independent MSC networking of a dual band network, Huawei 1800 network
cooperate with 900 network of vender A . After cutover, the successful rate of
handover from M1800 to M900 is low (about 60), while the handover from M900
to M1800 are normal and the handover data are correct

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Handover Case 5

o Analysis 1 : Trace the signalings at A interface and E interface.


Normal signaling is as follow

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Handover Case 5

o Analysis 2 : Abnormally signaling is as follow

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Handover Case 5

o Solution :
Analyze the Prepare-HO message sent from Huawei MSC to the opposite. The voice
version is full-rate version 1, 2 and half-rate version 1. It is a PHASE 2+ version.
However there is only full-rate version 1 in the message sent from M900 to Huawei
M1800. It turns out that the opposite does not support half-rate version, so the
handover fails.
Modify A interface circuit pool table of Huawei MSC data, only using full-rate
version 1
Then the outgoing BSC handover is normal

o Conclusion :
There are often many problems in coordination between the equipment of
different manufacturers. However, problems can be located accurately by tracing
signaling

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Handover Case 6

o Fault Description
A GSM network, where one MSC is attached with two BSC, is all configured with
Huawei equipment. When the two BSC are cutover, the successful rate of handover
from BSC1 to BSC2 is 0, but opposite is normal. Intra BSC handover of BSC1 and BSC2
are normal

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Handover Case 6

o Analysis :
Register outgoing inter-cell handover measurement function of BSC1 and
incoming inter-cell handover measurement function of BSC2.

Check the data related to handover of BSC1 and BSC2.

Analyze signaling of handover failure

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Handover Case 6

o Solution :
Check all data of inter-BSC handover: external cell description data table, BA2 table,
CGI of MSC. No problem is found.

Trace A interface message of BSC1 and BSC2. After BSC1 sends "HO-REQUIRED",
BSC2 has not received "HO-REQUEST" message, but opposite is normal.

The path of data search: MSC goes to "LAI and GCI Table" according to the CGI of
the target cell in "HO-REQUIRED" message, and sends HO request to the correct
BSC base on the description of the DPC of the cell given in the table.

The HO-REQUEST message, which should have been sent to BSC2, is sent to BSC1.
It is DPC error. After correction, the problem is solved.

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Handover Case 6

o Conclusion :
For the data of inter-BSC handover, besides checking whether CGI at MSC side is
consistent with that of opposite and BSC, check whether the DPC is correct. MSC
look up target DPC based on the CGI of the target cell. When the DPC is incorrect,
"HO-REQUEST" will be sent to wrong BSC.

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Handover Case 7

o Fault Description
A dual band network is a mixed networking of Huawei BSC (M1800) and vender N
BSC (M900), attached to MSC of vender S. After the cutover, the successful rate of
Huawei incoming BSC handover is always 8892, while outgoing BSC and intra-
BSC handovers are normal (above 92). Furthermore, the cells with low successful
rate of incoming BSC handover are randomly distributed

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Handover Case 7

o Analysis :
Since the handover success rate is not very low and the low ratio is not in some
few cells, data problem is excluded. Perhaps it is due to some interference at the
radio interface coverage hole. So, trace the signaling

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Handover Case 7

o Solution :
Perform forced handover with a test mobile between several cells where handover
success rate is low. The forced handovers are all successful. Data problem is
excluded.

The interference band of cells is ideal, call drop and congestion rate are normal. It
is unlikely that the coverage and interference at the radio interface causes the
problem.

Trace A interface signaling and compare the failure signaling with success signaling

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Handover Case 7

o A interface signaling analysis of inter-BSC handover in MSC :


Failure signaling :

Success signaling :

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Handover Case 7

o Solution :
The comparison result is that Huawei BTS has not detected any MS access
information (No HO DETECT signaling occurs). It shows that there is problem when
the MS is accessing M1800 cells.

Reconfirm that there is no problem with the handover data, otherwise the
handover success rate will be very low.

Re-trace large number of handover signaling to find that all failures are attributed
to the same cause. In addition, the problem is the same: there are several
handover requests in a call duration but all requests fail.

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Handover Case 7

o Solution :
Analyze other similarities of the failed message, to find that the first 6 digits of
IMEI numbers of these MS are all 449684. It shows that the handover problem is
related to the MS.

Find the MS owners with the IMSI numbers and find that all MS with handover
problem are F MS. Not long ago it was proved that this MS has poor insulation
performance between M900 and M1800, so it can not access M1800 network.
Now the cause is found.

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Handover Case 7

o Conclusion :
MS problem will also causes handover failure.

In this case the handover success rate is not very low, therefore coordination
problem is unlikely.

Trace the signaling to find the cause of the handover failure: BTS has not received
handover access message from MS.

Find the similarity of these MS through large amount of signaling tracing: IMEI
numbers are the same. Then it is found that the problem is on F MS.

The coverage of M900 is very good, F MS is always under M900 in idle status.
Therefore in a call, TCH assignment seldom fail, which will not result in high
congestion rate. But in handover, problem is very likely to happen.

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