Handover Control in WCDMA Radio Networks

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Soft Handover (1/2)
In a soft handover, a terminal is connected simultaneously to more than one base station via several handover branches. The group of base stations communicating with the terminal during soft handover is called the active set.
Based on signal strength decisions involving various thresholds, branches can be added to or removed from the connection at any time, in other words base stations can be added to or removed from the active set. Such actions are referred to as ”active set update” procedures.
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Soft Handover (2/2)

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Softer Handover (1/2)
A softer handover is performed between two adjacent sectors of the same base station.
 In downlink, soft and softer handover is very similar from the terminal point of view (signal replicas are simply combined in the Rake receiver).  In uplink, there is a major difference between soft and softer handover.
– In soft handover branches, signal replicas can only be

combined within the Radio Network Controller (RNC) – In softer handover branches, signal replicas can be combined earlier - within the base station.

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Softer Handover (2/2)

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Hard Handover
This type of handover is well-known from GSM. A hard handover may take place:
 Between channels carried by two different frequencies within the same cell or adjacent cells (both cases are referred to as interfrequency handovers);  Between UTRA FDD and UTRA TDD channels (intermode handover);  Between UMTS and GSM channels (intersystem handover)  In addition, in such situations where the Iur interface between two RNCs is not available for soft handover, a hard handover can be performed - using the same frequency from a cell belonging to one RNC to a cell belonging to the other RNC (intrafrequency handover).
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Hard/Interfrequency Handover

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Hard/Intrafrequency Handover

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Handover Measurement Reporting - Neighbour cell definitions
 Intrafrequency neighbour list:
The UE must be able to monitor at least 32 cells on the same WCDMA carrier frequency as the serving cell.

 Interfrequency neighbour list:
The UE must be able to monitor at least 32 cells in all on two WCDMA carrier frequencies in addition to the serving cell.

 Intersystem neighbour lists:
A separate list is needed for each neighbouring PLMN. Max of 32 interfrequency neighbour must be supported by UE.

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Measurement Reporting Criteria - UE Internal Measurements
 UE internal measurements criteria are controlled:
– cell-by-cell basis
and

– parameters common to all cells in the whole RNC.

 Network sends the measurement information on DCCH rather than BCCH.  UE reports the measurement results to RNC when the measurement criteria is fulfilled.
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Measurement Results Reporting
 Event-triggered intrafrequency measurement report  Periodic intrafrequency measurement report  Interfrequency measurement report  Intersystem measurement report  Measurement reports on common channels  Quality deterioration report
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Measurement Results Reporting
- Reporting of the Intrafrequency Measurements
 UE is constantly monitoring
– P-CPICH Ec/I0 neighbor cells – Evaluating the reporting criteria

 UE sends an event-trigger report when one of the events is fulfilled.  Some other factors also taken into accounts during the measurements.