HANDOFF MANAGEMENT: DETECTION AND ASSIGNMENT
When a mobile user is engaged in conversion, the MS connected to a BS via a radio link. If the mobile user moves to the coverage area of another BTS, the radio link to the old BS is eventually disconnected and a radio link to the new BS should be established to continue the conversion. This process is variously referred to as automatic link transfer, handover, or handoff. 4.1.1 Why Handoff?
Once a call is established, the set up channel is not used again during the call period. There fore handoff is always implemented on the voice channel. The value of implementing handoff is dependent on the size of the cell. For example, if the radius of the cell is 32 km, the area is 3217 km2.After a call is initiated in this area there is little chance that will dropped before the call is implemented as a result of a weak signal at the coverage boundary. Even for 16 km radius cell handoff may not be needed. If a call is dropped in fringe area, the customer simply redials and reconnects the call.
Fig 4.1: Occurrence of Handoff
-100dbm which is the level for requesting a handoff in a noise limited environment and (2) when the mobile unit is reaching the signal-strength holes within cell site as shown in fig:7. Assume that the need for handoff is detected by the MS. commercial mobile units must meet certain requirements and handoff s may be necessary at the at time
4.1: Probability of having a handoff in a 10 – mi coverage area. Now we may debate whether a handoff is needed or not. Suppose that a mobile unit randomly initiates a call in a 16 km (10mi) cell.
. The switch bridges the new path with the old path and informs the MS to transfer from the old channel to the new channel. If the call holding time is 1. 1.6 59.1. After the MS has been transferred to the new BS.76 3 6 9
Table 4. the only chance of reaching the boundary is 11%. and then the chance of reaching the boundary is dependent on the call holding time. Table summarizes the results. If the call holding time is 3 Handoff Probability (%) 11.2 Determining the probability of requirement for handoff To find the probability of requiring a handoff.Handoff is needed in two situations where the cell site receives weak signals from the mobile unit: (1) at the cell boundary . In rural areas. Upon receipt of the signal. Min the chance of reaching the boundary is 18%.76 min. the MSC transfers encryption information to the selected idle channel to the new BS and sets up the new conversation path to the MS through that channel. 3. 4.2 INTER-BS HANDOFF / INTER CELL HANDOFF
In inter BS handoff the new and the old BSs are connected to the same MSC. The vehicle speed is also randomly chosen between 8 and 96 km/h (5 -60mi/h).3 18 42. the following actions are taken. However. The Ms momentarily suspends conversation and initiates the handoff procedure by signaling an idle channel in the new BS.3 Call length (min) 1. it signals the network and resumes conversation using the new channel. 2. Then it resumes the conversion on the old BS. handoff may not be necessary. we can carry out the following simulation. The direction is randomly chosen to be between 0 and 360.1. say.
and is always in the path before and after the handoff as illustrated in the fig. along with other relevant information to MSC A. MSC B returns the signal quality parameter values. The following approaches are used to make handoffs successful and to eliminate all necessary handoff. MSC A is referred to as the anchor MSC.
4. 2. An intelligence decision can also be made at the cell site as to whether the handoff should taken place earlier or later. Otherwise. If an unnecessary handoff is requested. MSC A exits the procedure.4. MSC B then selects a candidate BS. Intersystem handoff requires the following steps: 1. In this handoff process. Assuming that a vice channel is available in BS2.4 INITIATION OF A HANDOFF
At the cell site. MSC A then connects the call path (trunk) to MSC B and completes the handoff procedure. MSC A asks MSC B to set up a voice channel. In this fig a communication mobile user moves out of the BS served by MSC A and enters the area covered by MSC B. MSC B informs MSC A that the handoff is successful. Upon receipt of the handoff completion signal the network removes the bridge from the path and releases resources associated with the old channel. and interrogates it for signal quality parameters on the call in progress. If so. After the MS is connected to BS2. we must set up a level higher
. If a failure handoff occurs. Given this scenario. 3. then was made too early. When the signal strength reaches the level of a handoff then the cell site sends a request to the mobile telephone switching level (MTSO) for handoff on the call. The MS synchronizes to BS2. for example numerous handoff between BS1 and BS2 where the MS is moving within the overlapped area) or if intersystem trunks are not available. MSC A sends the MS a handoff order. where network –controlled handoff is assumed. this anchor approach is used in all exiting mobile phone networks because the re-establishment of a new call path between MS and the new MSC would require extra trunk release / setup operation in PSTN which is not available or not cost effective. In the description that follows. Suppose that -100dbm is a threshold level at the cell boundary at which a handoff would be taken. BS2. we trace the intersystem handoff procedure IS-41. MSC B instructs MSC A to start the radio link transfer.
4. MSC A requires MSC B to perform handoff measurements on the call in progress. signal strength is always monitored from a reverse voice channel.3 INTER SYSTEM HANDOFF / INTER MSC HANDOFF
In intersystem handoff. This handoff process is used with the mobile controlled handoff strategy. MSC A checks if the MS has made too many handoffs recently (this to avoid. then a decision was made too late. the new and old BSs are connected to two different MSCs. Fig: shows the trunk connection before and after the intersystem handoff.
If no neighboring calls available after the second handoff level is
. Therefore ∆ should be varied according to the path loss slope of the received signal strength and the level crossing rate of the signal strength. Let the value of ∆ be 10 db in the example given in the preceding paragraph. When the signal drops below the first handoff level.1) V = (√2π) 0.1 Two Handoff level Algorithm In many cases a two handoff level algorithm is used.5. then there is not enough time for the call to handoff at the site and many calls can be lost while they are handed off. a handoff request is initiated.
4. A handoff could be delayed if no available cell could take the call. If ∆ is small. A plot of signal strength with two request handoff levels and a threshold level is shown in fig. At the first handoff level. The MTSO always handles the handoff call first and the originating calls second.5 DELAYING A HANDOFF
4. Equation (7. There are two circumstances where handoffs are necessary but can not be made: (1) when the mobile unit is located at a signal –strength hole within a cell but at the boundary (fig) and (2) when the mobile unit approaches a cell boundary but no channels in the new cell are available. If the value of ∆ is fixed and large then time it takes to lower -100 dbm +∆ to -100dbm is longer. the plot of avg signal strength which is recorded on the channel received signal strength indicator (RSSI) which is installed at each channel receiver at the cell site. the call will be handed off with no condition. Then we can calculate the velocity V of the mobile unit based on the predicted level crossing rate(LCR) at a -10 db level with respect to the root square mean level which is at -90 dbm. the handoff takes places if the new signal is stronger. However when the second handoff level is reached. The purpose of creating two request handoff levels is to provide more opportunity for a successful handoff. This would mean a level of -90db as the threshold level for requesting a handoff. thus nλ (7. the handoff will be requested periodically every 5s.1) can be simplified as V(mi/h) ≈ n(crossing/s) at 850 MHZ AND -10dB level. If for some reason the mobile unit is in a whole (a weak spot in a cell) or a neighboring cell is busy.than -100dbm +∆ dbm and the received signal reaches this level a handoff request is initiated.27
Where n is the LCR counting positive slopes and is the wavelength in feet.
delayed handoff may take place.1 Controlling a Handoff The cell site can assign a low handoff threshold in a cell to keep a mobile unit in a cell longer or assign threshold level to request a handoff earlier. 4. if we only use the second level handoff boundary of cell A. The advantage of having a two –handoff –level algorithm is that it makes the handoff occur at the proper location and eliminates possible interference in the system. 4. shows the area where the first level handoff occurs between cell A and cell B.6. after receiving a handoff request from a cell site. If the mobile unit is whole for less than 5 s (a driven distance of 140 m for 5s.
4. the switching processor is loaded and thus a lower number of handoffs would help the processor handle call processing more adequately. Fig case 1. The mobile units are moving randomly and the terrain counter is uneven. then the call is dropped. a cell site has to follow the MTSO order and increase the handoff threshold to push the mobile units at the new boundary and to handoff earlier. the call continuous until the signal strength drops below the threshold level.7. In principle. Then the MTSO can request cell sites to create early handoffs for those congested cells. If the neighboring cells are busy. 4.2 Advantage of Delayed Handoffs Consider the following example. The MTSO also can control a handoff by making either a handoff earlier or later.reached.
4. the delay (in handoff) can even circumvent the need for a handoff.6 FORCED HANDOFFS
A forced is defined as a handoff which would normally occur but is prevent from happening or a handoff that should not occur but is forced to happen. The received signal strength at the mobile unit fluctuates up and down.1 Mobile controlled Handoff (MCHO)
.2 Creating a Handoff In this case. the area of handoff is too close to cell B. the cell site does not request a handoff but the MTSO finds that some cells are too congested while others are not.6. when call traffic is heavy.7 STRATEGIES FOR HANDOFF DETECTION
4. assuming a vehicle speed of 100 km/h).5. In other words.
Measurements Processor Yes
Linkquality Acceptabl e?
No Select new channel or time slot Execute ALT or TST
Fig 4. simultaneous triggering of the two processes. • Control both automatic link transfer and time slot transfer . in order to: • Offload the handoff task from the network • Ensure robustness of the radio link by allowing reconnection of calls even when radio channels suddenly become poor. Automatic link control transfer control requires the NS to make quality measurements of the current and candidates channels in the surrounding BSs.s handoff control between channels on the same BS is made possible by passing uplink quality information. such as automatic link transfer or time slot transfer is required • The choice of the new frequency carrier for automatic link transfer or the new time slot for time slot transfer .MCHO is the most popular technique for low –tier radio system s and is employed by both the European DECT and the North American PACS air interface protocols. In this method the MS continuously monitors the signal strength and quality the signal strength and quality from the accessed BS and several handoff candidates BSs. Quality maintenance processing.Thus preventing unhelpful. which is a process closely allied with the triggered decision
. When some handoff criteria are met. the MS checks the best candidate BSs for an available traffic channel and launches a handoff request. The MS. The combined control of automatic link transfer and time slot transfer by the MS is considered desirable. described schematically in Figure 7. in the form of a word error indicator back to the MS on the downlink.2: MS quality maintenance Consists of four components: • On going measurements and processing of measurements data which allow the MS to monitor quality • The trigger decision mechanism where the MS uses the processed measurements data to determine that some action .
4. In GSM the MS transmits the measurements results to the BS twice a second.In both MAHO and NCHO systems network signaling is required to inform the MS about the handoff decision made by the network that is on which new channel to begin communicating is transmitted on the falling link. The required handoff time for NCHO can be up to 10 seconds or more. There is some probability that the link will fail before this information can be transmitted to the MS. which is the BS and the MSC or BSC. for example the RSSI and WEI values. When these deteriorate below some threshold. 4. the accuracy is reduced. Based on these measurements.7.3 Mobile Assisted Handoff(MAHO) MAHO is a variant of network controlled handoff whereby the network asks the MS to measure the signals from surrounding BSs and report those measurements back to the old BS so that the network can decide whether a handoff is required and to which BS. IS-95 CDMA and IS-136 TDMA standards. In MAHO the handoff process is more decentralized. Both the MS and the BS supervise the quality of the link. the MSC makes the decision when and where to effect the handoff. The handoff is then affected. The GSM handoff execution time is approximately 1 seconds .2 Network controlled handoff(NCHO) In this method. the BS monitors the signal strength and the quality from the MS. comparisons cannot be made very before the actual RSSI is below a predetermined threshold.
. To reduce the signaling load in the network the neighboring BSs do not send measurement reports continuously back to the MSC. therefore. it is not used by any of the low tier PCS standards. Since measurements cannot be made very often. The network asks all BSs to monitor the signal from the MS and report the measurement result back to the network.7. The BSs supervise the quality of all current connections by making measurements of RSSI. RSSI measurements of neighboring BSs are done by the MS. The MSC will command surrounding BSs to occasionally make measurements of these links. the network arranges for a handoff to another BS. Because of heavy network signaling traffic needed to collect the information and the lack of adeq0ate radio resources at BSs to make frequent measurements of neighboring links the handoff execution timeis in the order of seconds. The decision as to when and where to execute the handoff is still made by the network. in this case the call will be forced top terminate. The network then chooses a new BS for the handoff and information both the MS and the new BS. This handoff strategy is employed by the high-tier GSM.• Execution of the automatic link transfer or the new time slot transfer via signaling protocol between the MS and network equipment.
• Handoff is denied by the network for reasons such as lack of resources.8.4.7. Several handoff initiates access channel assignment schemes such as the non prioritized schemes. Several channel assignment strategies have been developed to reduce forced termination at the cost of increasing the number lost or blocked calls. call attempts that fails because there are no available channels are called blocked calls handoff requests for exiting calls that must be turned down because there are no available channels are called forced terminations. The flowchart of NPS is given in fig 7.4 Handoff failure In the link transfer procedure. some of which are: • No channel is available on selected BS.some trade offs occur when trying t accomplish the following goals: • • • • service of quality implementation complexity of the channel assignment algorithm number of database lookups Spectrum utilization Handoff request and initial access request complete for radio resources. 4. there are several reasons handoff failures can occur.8 CHANNEL ASSIGNMENT
Channel assignment schemes attempt to achieve a high degree of spectrum utilization for a given grade of service with the least number of database lookups and the simplest algorithm employed in both the MS and the network . • It takes the network too long to set up the handoff after it has been initiated • The target link fails in some way during the execution of handoff. the reserved channel schemes.3
. At a busy BS.1 Non prioritized schemes In the NPS the handles a handoff call in exactly the same manner as a new call. It is generally believed that forced terminations are less desirable than blocked call attempts. that is the handoff call is blocked immediately if no channel available.for example no bridge or no suitable channel card. the MS has exceeded some limit on the number of handoffs that may be attempted in some period of time.
4. the queuing priority schemes.
New NEe or handoff call arrival
l ne e a n bl Ch aila Av
New call Arrival
al rm nel No an able Ch ail Av
R Ch eser av an ve ai ne d la l bl e
Handoff call arrival
al m el or n N h an ab l e C ai l av
4.2 The Reserved Channel Schemes The reserved channel schemes is similar to NPS expect that a number of channels or transceivers in each BS are reserved for handoffs. The flowchart for RCS is shown in fig 7. which serve both new calls and handoff calls and the reserved channel which only serve handoff calls.3: Flowchart for nonprioritized scheme.8. In other words the channels are divided into two groups: the normal channels.
5. If a channel in the new cell is available for the handoff.
Handoff call arrival
Channel Availabl e
Channel assigned Ongoing Call
No Insert the call into the waiting queue New call Channel Released
Is a channel available before call expires?
Is the waiting queue empty
No Call Blocked The channel Idle
Fig 4. when a channel is released. If no channels is available after the MS moves out of the handoff area –the degradation interval expires the call is forced to terminate. called the handoff area. The next handoff to be served is selected based on the queuing policy. The time that an MS spends in the overlapped area is referred to as the degradation interval. there is a considerable area where a call can be handled by either BS of the adjacent cells.
.5: Flowchart for queuing priority scheme (handoff is idle) The flow chart of QPS handoff call channel assignment is shown in fig 7.Fig 4. If not the released channel is assigned to a handoff call in the queue. The channel assignment for a QPS new call is the same as that for NPS. Thus. In these schemes. the handoff actually occurs.4: Queuing Priority schemes The queuing priority scheme is based on the fact that adjacent cells in a PCS network overlap. the BS first checks if the waiting queue is empty.
because the overlapping coverage areas between BSs will be large. The new call blocking Probability for RCS however larger than that of NPS. Some PCSs radio system already reserve a channel for other purposes such as system broadcast channel. QPS.
. The results are summarized here. The QPS take advantage of the handoff area to buffer the handoff calls. SRS are better than NPS. if BS density is high in a given PCS service area then queuing priority schemes may be a good choice. For system with conventional handoff procedures the reserved channel is not necessary because the request is made through the network.1
To implement prioritizing handoff schemes a radio system must have a physical channel that is a system signaling channel for the MS to request the link transfer even when all traffic channel are in use.4. The implementation for the measurements based priority schemes is more complex than that for the fifo schemes but the performance is almost identical. RCS is easy to implement and it reduced the forced termination probability more effectively than NPS. If reducing forced termination is more import ant than reducing total call implementation. If implementation cost is a major concern then RCS and NPS should be considered. To conclude the selection of a particular handoff and initial channel assignment schemes is a trade –off between implementation complexity and performance. To achieve the best performance with a slight voice quality degradation SRS should be selected. QPS effectively reduce forced terminations at the expense of increasing new call blocking Several analytical and simulation models have been proposed to evaluate the performance of the handoff channel assignment schemes.1. This channel should always be available and therefore cannot be used as a traffic channel. which can be shared by the handoff prioritizing procedure. then RCS.