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Lecture #9 Handovers and mobility

19th April 2011

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Mobility clear advantage


Freedom of making and receiving calls or browsing internet anywhere and anytime is the biggest advantage of wireless cellular communication over fixed line networks

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How to provide mobility? Lecture Agenda


1. 2. UMTS cell selection in idle mode RRC states in UMTS
a)
b)

Paging
Cell / URA Update procedure Handover measurements

3. 4. 5. 6.

Handovers general classification


a)

Soft Handovers Softer Handovers Hard Handovers


a) b) Compressed Mode Iur Interface RRC States Mobility in RRC idle Mobility in RRC connected X2 interface

7.

LTE Handovers
a) b) c) d)

8.
3

UMTS vs LTE mobility comparison


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Cell selection in idle mode ( UMTS )


What happens if you switch on your mobile phone?

Cell selection procedure:


1. UE looks for Synchronization Channel. 2. Search for pilot signals looking for a suitable cell to camp on 3. Decode broadcast information from selected cell looking for information about
best neighbor cell

4. Reselect cell based on information about:



cell belonging to HPLMN ( Home Public Land Mobile Network ) supporting desired communication technology e.g. HSPA or cells belonging to HPLMN supporting other technologies UE is capable of e.g. WCDMA, EDGE, GPRS, GSM cells belonging to PPLMN ( Prefered PLMN ) cell belonging to other operators with best pilot signal HCS priorities

5. Since there is no signaling connection yet, UE tries to establish one via selected
cell using RRC Connection Request message ( UE registration at the network ).
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Hierarchical Cell Structure (HCS)


Hierarchical Cell Structure (HCS) is an optional 3G feature to prioritize
layers in cell reselection process

HCS enables:
prioritizing layers based on RAT (3G, 2G), frequency, nominal Tx power...

HCS

2G

HSPA

macro Freq 1 Freq 1 pico 2 Freq cells cells

...

setting individual priorities for each layer (8 different priorities available)

HCS_PRIO range: 0 lowest priority 7 highest priority


controlling transitions between layers by means of measurements rules
and thresholds settings

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Hierarchical Cell Structure (HCS)

S criterion fulfilled start looking for other cells

Criterion H to identify target cell on different layers


Cells fullfilling the H>=0 criterion

Criterion R target cell ranking based on quality

#1, HCS_PRIO=2 #1, HCS_PRIO=2 #3, HCS_PRIO=4 #1, HCS_PRIO=2 #3, HCS_PRIO=4 #3, HCS_PRIO=4

#2 HCS_PRIO=1
Current serving cell #10, HCS_PRIO=4

#2 HCS_PRIO=1 #10, HCS_PRIO=4

#2 HCS_PRIO=1

New serving cell #10, HCS_PRIO=4

High Mobility State OFF


#7, HCS_PRIO=3

#5, HCS_PRIO=3

#7, HCS_PRIO=3

#5, HCS_PRIO=3

Considered priorities:
0 1 2 3 4

Cells not fullfilling the H-criterion

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Hierarchical Cell Structure (HCS)

S criterion fulfilled start looking for other cells

Criterion H to identify target cell on different layers


Cells fullfilling the H>=0 criterion

Criterion R target cell ranking based on quality


New serving cell

#1, HCS_PRIO=2 #3, HCS_PRIO=4

#1, HCS_PRIO=2 #3, HCS_PRIO=4

#1, HCS_PRIO=2 #3, HCS_PRIO=4

#2 HCS_PRIO=1
Current serving cell #10, HCS_PRIO=4

#2 HCS_PRIO=1 #10, HCS_PRIO=4

#2 HCS_PRIO=1 #10, HCS_PRIO=4

High Mobility State ON


#7, HCS_PRIO=3

#5, HCS_PRIO=3

#7, HCS_PRIO=3

#5, HCS_PRIO=3

Considered priorities:
0 1 2 3 4

Cells not fullfilling the H-criterion

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Radio Resource Control states ( UMTS )


RRC protocol is responsible for mobility aspects in UMTS Terrestial Radio Access
Network ( UTRAN ) and LTE evolved UTRAN ( eUTRAN )

RRC states are trade offs between User Equipment ( UE ) power consumption,
location information precision and instant available data rate.

In each state mobility is provided by either paging, location update or handovers.


RRC states in Connected Mode
Cell PCH paging, dormant mode Cell FACH location update, common always on low data rate channels

Idle Mode

URA PCH paging, dormant mode

CELL DCH set up on demand dedicated channels, handovers

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RRC States comparison ( UMTS )


Power consumption URA/Cell PCH < 5 mA Location information URA / cell Available data rates None

Cell FACH
Cell DCH

~ 100 mA
> 200 mA

Cell
Cell

Low
Medium / High

State transitions examples: cell PCH -> cell URA - performed if UE traverse through several cells within specific time cell PCH -> cell FACH performed if low date rate transmission is done between UE and NodeB e.g. cell update signalling cell FACH > cell DCH performed if higher data rate transmission is done between UE and NodeB cell DCH -> cell PCH performed after some inactivity time ( ~2-5s )
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Paging ( UMTS )

There are three situations when UE is paged: 1. In case of Mobile Terminating Call establishment procedure. 2. If the system information on Broadcast Channel ( BCH ) change. 3. When UE needs to perform Cell Update procedure. In cell / URA PCH UE utilize discontinuous reception ( DRX ) in order to provide power savings. Transmitter is always off. When in PCH state UE switch on its receiver in so cold DRX cycles to check, if there is Paging Indication ( PI ) on Paging Indication Channel ( PICH ). If yes, UE reads information from Paging Channel ( PCH ).
DRX cycle
x

7680 chips PI paging message Paging Indication Channel Paging Channel

zzz zzz

zzz zzz

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Cell / URA Update procedure ( UMTS )


UE

NodeB

RNC

If UE is in URA / cell PCH it needs


to move to cell FACH state in order to inform UTRAN about its position change.

No Dedicated Channel ( DCH ) is


assigned to UE. Common FACH/RACH channels are used instead.

When in URA / Cell PCH or FACH, UE has to monitor periodicaly CPICH level of surrounding cells If any monitored cell match criteria for cell reselection UE will update its position to UTRAN Cell Update ( RACH ) UE position is updated Cell Update Confirm ( FACH )

Based on periodic measurements


UE performs cell reselection and upon selecting a new UTRAN cell, initiates a cell update procedure.

Similar procedure apply for Utran


Registration Area ( URA ) Update.

UE continue to monitor periodicaly available cells

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Handover ( Handoff ) types


If active UE due to its movement can be served in more efficient manner in another cell handover is performed.

Handover is transfer of running user connection from one radio channel to another.
There are following categories of handovers:

Soft Handovers UE has always at least one link to NodeB and links are
added or removed between different NodeBs Softer Handovers - UE has always at least one link to NodeB and links are added/removed between sectors of same NodeB. There is no soft and softer hadover in HSDPA and LTE, they are common in WCDMA and HSUPA. Hard handovers radio links between UE and NodeB are removed before adding new ones ( further division will be given later ).

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How does the UE know when to perform a handover? ( UMTS )


UE monitors Common Pilot Channel (CPICH) level ( SINR, Eb/No, Es/No ) of neighbouring cells. Results of those measurements are sent in so called measurement events to Radio Network Controller which is a handover decision unit. Surrounding monitored cells are categorized into: active set list of cells where UE has connection to UTRAN ( NodeBs X and Y ) monitored set list of cells that UE measure but their pilot level is to low to add to active set ( NodeB Z )
NodeB Z NodeB Y
UE - Handover measurements
Handover decision - RNC

NodeB X

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Handover decision and measurements ( UMTS )


Pilot Ec/Io Cell X t t

t
1 Cell Y 3 2

Cell Z replace cell X with cell Z

add cell Y 1. 2. 3.

remove cell Z
Time

Event 1A - radio link addition, adding radio link from Cell Y Pilot Ec/No > Best Pilot Ec/No Reporting Range + Hysteresis event 1A for period t

Event 1C - radio link replacement, replacing radio link from Cell X with radio link from Cell Z Best New Pilot Ec/No > Worst Old Pilot Ec/No Reporting Range + Hysteresis event 1C for t Event 1B - radio link removal, remove radio link from Cell Z Pilot Ec/Io < Best Pilot Ec/Io Reporting Range Hysteresis event 1B for a period of t

Reporting range threshold for certain event Hysteresis event and t preventing ping pong effect.
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Soft Handover ( UMTS )


Soft and softer handovers
were not present in GSM. They are also not used in UMTS TDD, and HSDPA.
NodeB
UE Iub RNC Iub

Soft and Softer Handovers


are supported in HSUPA and LTE.

NodeB

The idea behind soft


handover is to benefit from overlapping cell areas covered by different NodeBs

NodeB

Soft handovers occur in


about 20 40% of connections.

overlapping areas

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Soft Handover ( UMTS )


RNC Iur RNC

In case of soft handover


between two NodeBs connected to two different RNCs signaling between RNCs on Iur interface is needed.

NodeB

Iub UE

Iub

NodeB

Iur will be further explained


in Hard Handovers.

NodeB

overlapping areas

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Softer Handover ( UMTS )


Softer Handover occurs in about
5% -15% connections. Procedure is similar for softer and soft handover. Soft and softer handovers can occur together.
Measurement Report 1a Active Set Update Active Set Update Complete

RNC

Iub

NodeB
UE

Radio link addition Radio link deletion


Measurement Report 1b Active Set Update

Active Set Update Complete

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Soft Handover vs. Softer Handover ( UMTS )


Softer Handover
Occur between sectors of the same NodeB

Soft Handover
Occur between different NodeBs
In uplink received frames are routed to RNC where based on CRC check best candidate is selected after each interleaving period e.g 10, 20, 40 ms ( selection combining ) In fast power control loop if one NodeB sends power down command UE decreases its transmission power Consumes more resources

In uplink received signal is combined in NodeB like different multipath signals using macro diversity soft combining One power control loop
No extra transmission on Iub interface

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Soft and Softer Handover gains and pains ( UMTS )


Soft(er) handover can lead to reduction of interference and radio link performance
improvement due to macro diversity principle ( one of two radio links is always better than another one )

Soft and softer handovers prevent near far effect in uplink They also improve cell coverage

On the other hand we need more resources like channelization codes (


transmission links), Iub capacity, additional rake fingers to cover handover demands etc.

In case of bigger path loss difference ( > 5 dB ) between radio links involved in soft
and softer handovers there are losses due to signalling errors in uplink power control transmitted in DL and increased interferences in DL. Soft and soft handovers parameters needs to be adjusted so gains were higher than pains

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Handover classification

Intra without changing the specified element, ex.: Intra-frequency same frequency Intra-NodeB same NodeB Intra-RNC same RNC Inter with changing the specified element, ex.: Inter-system different system Inter-mode different duplex modes Inter-frequency different frequencies

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Hard Handover break-before-make


Used when it is impossible for a UE to communicate on two links (pre-HO & post-HO) simultaneously, ex.: Inter-RAT UMTSGSM Inter-mode FDD TDD Inter-frequency between different frequencies within operators band

Features:
+ every handover can be performed as a hard handover + only one connection active at a time there is a short brake in communication complicated measurements (compressed mode)

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Compressed Mode
Most UMTS terminals are equiped with a single radio receiver tuned to a single frequency. How to perform measurements on different frequency and/or RAT during continous transmission/reception?

f1 f2

To deal with this gaps are introduced within normal


trasmission of the serving frequency. During those gaps the measurement on the other frequency/RAT is done
Compressed frame

Power
Gap

10 ms

10 ms

during this time the measurement on different frequency/RAT can be performed!


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The time devoted for the gap has be be compensated by compressing the information which could have been sent Normal frame during that time. Compressed mode methods: Lowering the data rate from higher levels (DL) Increasing data rate by lowering 10 ms spreading factor and incresing time transmission power (DL & UL) Reducing symbol rate by puncturing (DL, not implemented)

Intra-RNC Hard Handover


RNC
5
2 6

1. Radio link setup req.


2. Radio link setup ack.
1

3. Channel
reconfiguration req.

4. Channel
reconfiguration completed
3 4

NodeB1

NodeB2

5. Release radio
resources req.

6. Release radio
resources ack.
UE
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Inter-RNC Handover
MSC

Iu RNC SRNC Iur

Iu DRNC SRNC RNC

1. UE connected to
SRNC through NodeB1

2. In soft handover
Iub Iub

3. Right after handover

4. SRNC realocation

NodeB1 UE
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NodeB2

Iur Interface (RNC-to-RNC)


Functions of Iur interface: Support of basic Inter-RNC mobility Support of dedicated channel traffic Support of common channel traffic Support of global resource menagement
Core Network Iu Iub Iur RNC

Iu

Iub NodeB

NodeB

RNC

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Inter-RAT Handover
Reasons for Inter-RAT handovers: Lack of coverage load balancing QoS Measurements: RNC/BSC triggered compressed mode when in UMTS

Play Online: http://internet.playmobile.pl/maps/

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Inter-RAT HO from UMTS to GSM


MSC

1. Reallocation(?)
required
1 4 3 2

2. Radio link setup req


3. Radio link setup ack.

4. Realocation command

5. Handover command
UTRAN
5 6

GSM BSS

6. Access request 7. Handover complete 8. Release resources

UE
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LTE Mobility procedures


Mobilty procedures divided into idle state and connected state
RRC CONNECTED
Network controlled handovers

Based on UE measurements

RRC IDLE

Cell reselections done autonomously by UE Based on UE measurements Controlled by broadcasted parameters

Different priorities can be assigned to frequency layers

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Mapping of inter-RAT RRC states

GSM_Connected CELL_DCH Handover E-UTRA RRC_CONNECTED Handover GPRS Packet transfer mode CCO, Reselection Connection establishment/release

CELL_FACH CCO with optional NACC Reselection Connection establishment/release

CELL_PCH URA_PCH Connection establishment/release UTRA_Idle

Reselection

E-UTRA RRC_IDLE

Reselection CCO, Reselection

GSM_Idle/GPRS Packet_Idle

Its not possible to move from CELL_FACH to LTE CELL_PCH and URA_PCH states match to RRC Idle in LTE

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Mobility in RRC IDLE state


What happens when you turn on your LTE phone?

(Initial) cell selection:


UE scans all radio frequency(RF) channels in E-UTRAN bands to find a
suitable cell Cell ranking according to radio conditions The strongest cell is selected

Once selected the UE reads broadcast channel (BCH) of that cell to find
out whether the cell is suitable for camping: Good radio quality Cell not barred / allowed PLMN / etc

After cell selection the UE must register itself to the network (TAC update)

Whenever UE has camped on a cell it will continue to look for better


cells according to reselection criteria received in the BCH channel

The UE location in RRC idle is known by the MME with the accuracy
of a Tracking Area (corresponding to Routing Area in UMTS)

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Absolute Priorities (AP)


A mean to prioritize cells for re-selection
Priorities were introduced to reduce the number of tracked cells, i.e. improve
cell reselection speed and mobile batery life

Applicable to Release 8 UEs and beyond Can be cell or UE specific Priorities are defined per layer Inter-frequency layer Inter-RAT layer Priority level: {0,1,,7}, where 0 low and 7 high
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Thresholds for AP based reselection


Squal LTE: Higher priority =2

Camped on (S)
NOT camped on (N) Go for higher priority cell N if
SqualN > ThreshXhigh2 HSPA CELL #1

ThreshXhigh2

LTE CELL #2

ThreshXlow2 ThreshServingLow2

HSPA: Lower priority =1 LTE CELL #1

Go for lower priority cell N if


SqualN > ThreshXlow2 AND Squals < ThreshServingLow2
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time

Mobility in RRC IDLE state Tracking Area optimization


A Tracking Area(TA) is a group of
several eNBs. Each of those groups has a specific number i.e. Tracking Area Code MME

The UE location is known by the MME


with the accuracy of a TA
Tracking Area 1 Tracking Area 2

A large TA means less Tracking Area


Updates (TAUs), a small TA reduces the paging signalling load for incoming packet calls

The size of TA can be optimized in the


network planning phase

The corresponding concept in UMTS is


called Routing Area

On moving from one TA to another in RRC IDLE mode the UE has to perform a Tracking Area update (TAU)

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Mobility in RRC CONNECTED state LTE Handovers


Network-controlled
Target cell is selected by the serving eNodeB UE always connected to only one eNodeB - no soft-handover

UE-assisted
Measurements are made and reported by UE to eNodeB

Lossless
Packets are forwarded from the source eNodeB to the taget
eNodeB (X2 interface)

Late path switch


Only once the handover is successfull, the packet core is invloved

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Late path switching general idea


User connected to
eNB1 moving to eNB2
DL UL

S-GW

eNB1
DL

eNB2

UL

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Late path switching general idea


eNB1 is forwarding DL
packets to eNB2 over X2 interface!
DL UL

S-GW

DL X2 interface

eNB1

DL

eNB2
UL

No packets are being lost!

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Late path switching general idea


S-GW

Late Path switch the


core network S1 connection is updated only once radio path is fully changed

DL

1 DL 2

UL

DL

X2 interface

eNB1
DL

eNB2
UL

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LTE Handovers - Preparation


MME S-GW

1. Handover decision

2. Handover req.
(radio resources reservation)
2

3. Handover Ack. 4. Handover command

eNB1

eNB2

5. Data forwarding
UE
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Data link Control link

LTE Handovers - Execution


MME S-GW

6. Handover

7. Path switch request


7 9

10
11

8. Path switch execution 9. Path switch ack. 10.Release resources req.

eNB1

eNB2

11.Release resources
ack.
UE
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Data link Control link

X2 interface (eNB-to-eNB)
Functionalities of X2 interface: Data forwarding in Inter-eNodeB handover Information exchange between neighboring cells (ex. for load balancing) X2 is a logical interface i.e. direct connection is not required, can be routed via core network

X2 eNB

X2

X2 eNB
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eNB

Differences in UTRAN and E-UTRAN Mobility


UTRAN

E-UTRAN

Location Area (CS) /Routing Area (PS) Soft handover in uplink and downlink, also for HSUPA uplink fbdf CELL_FACH, CELL_PCH, URA_PCH Mobility mostly hidden by RNC in UTRAN

Only Tracking Area (only PS connections) No soft handovers, UE always connected to only one eNB ( also for HSDPA DL ) Only Connected state gggggggggggg Core network sees every handover

Tracking Area 2

RRC CONNECTED

RRC IDLE

MME

eNB1
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Questions? Thank you!


References
[1] 3GPP TS 25.331v9.2.0, Radio Resource Control (RRC); [2] 3GPP TS 25.304v9.0.0, User Equipment (UE) procedures in idle mode and procedures for cell reselection in connected mode [3] 3GPP TS 36.331v9.1.0, Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (E-UTRA); Radio Resource Control (RRC); [4] 3GPP TS 36.304v9.0.0, User Equipment (UE) procedures in idle mode [5] Harri Holma and Antii Toskala, LTE for UMTS OFDMA and SC-FDMA Based Radio Access [6] Harri Holma, Antii Toskala, WCDMA for UMTS HSPA evolution and LTE, forth edition [7] Jerzy Koakowski, Jacek Cichocki, UMTS System telefonii komrkowej trzeciej generacji, wydanie 2,

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BCH Broadcast Channel BSS Base Station System CPICH Common Pilot Channel DCH Dedicated Channel DL Downlink DRNC Drifting RNC DRX Discontinous Reception FACH Forward Access Channel FDD Frequency Division Duplex GW - Gateway HARQ Hybrid Automatic Repeat Request HO Handover HSDPA - High Speed Downlink Packet Access HSUPA High Speed Uplink Packet Access MME Mobility Management Entity PCH Paging Channel PDU Protocol Data Units PI Paging Indicators PICH Paging Indication Channel QoS Quality of Service RACH Random Access Channel RLC Radio Link Control RNC Radio Network Controler RRC Radio Resource Control SAE System Architecture Evolution SRNC Serving RNC TDD Time Division Duplex UE User Equipment UL - Uplink URA UTRAN Registration Area UTRAN UMTS Terrestrial Radio Access Network
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Abbreviations