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The Cellular Concept

Important Definitions Mobile Station (MS): is the part of a mobile communication system that changes its position as time passes. Cellular phones are a type of mobile stations. Base Station (BS): is the part of a mobile communication system that is stationary (does not move). The base station communicates with all mobile stations and takes a central position surrounded by mobile stations. Cellular towers are a type of base stations. Full Duplex Systems: are communication systems in which transmission between the mobile and base stations occurs in both directions at the same time (transmit and receive at the same time) such as cellular phone systems. The regular phone at your house is a type of full duplex systems because you can talk and listen to other side talking at the same time. Half Duplex Systems: are communication systems in which transmission between the mobile and base stations occurs at different times (transmit and receive at different times) such as pushtotalk systems.

Simplex Systems: are communication system in which transmission of information occurs in one direction only such as a garage door opening system. Forward Channel: is the communication channel used to transmit information from the base station to the mobile station. o Forward Control Channel (FCC): is the channel used by the base station to inform mobile stations of a call directed to them, and to instruct mobile stations of the voice channels they should use to send and receive information. o Forward Voice Channel (FVC): is the channel used by the base station to transmit the voice signal to the mobile station.

Reverse Channel: is the communication channel used to transmit information from the mobile station to the base station. Reverse Control Channel (RCC): is the channel used by the mobile station to request from a cellular tower to initiate a phone call. Reverse Voice Channel (RVC): is the channel used by the mobile station to transmit the voice signal to the base station. Multiple Access Techniques: are methods by which multiple mobile stations in a communication system request that part of the limited spectrum of the system be reserved for its communication and then release the reserved spectrum once the communication is completed.

Cellular Telephone Systems

Achieve a large coverage area by using a simple, high powered transmitter. Put BS on top of mountains or tall towers, so that it could provide coverage for a large area. So good coverage, but it was impossible to reuse those same frequency throughout the system

Cellular Telephone Systems

The Bell mobile system in New York City in the 1970s could only support a maximum of twelve simultaneous calls over a thousand square miles.

Cellular Telephone Systems

EXAMPLE 1: Using a typical analog system, each channel needs to have a bandwidth of around 25 kHz to enable sufficient audio quality to be carried, as well as allowing for a guard band between adjacent signals to ensure there are no undue levels of interference. Using this concept, it is possible to accommodate only forty users in a frequency band 1-MHz wide. Even if 100 MHz were allocated to the system, this would enable only 4000 users to have access to the system. Today cellular systems have millions of subscribers, and therefore a far more efficient method of using the available spectrum is needed.

Introduction to Cellular Concept

Solves the problem of spectral congestion and user capacity Cellular Concept replacing a single, high power transmitter (large cell) with many low power transmitters (small cells) and each providing coverage to only small portion of the service area Each base station is allocated a portion of the total number of channels available channels to the entire system Neighboring base stations are assigned different group of channels, so that interference b/w base stations is minimized

Frequency Reuse
Cellular radio systems rely on an intelligent allocation and reuse of channels throughout a coverage region Each cellular base station is allocated a group of radio channels within a small geographic area called a cell

Neighboring cells are assigned different channel groups

By limiting the coverage area to within the boundary of the cell, the channel groups may be reused to cover different cells Keep interference levels within tolerable limits Frequency reuse or frequency planning

Frequency Reuse

Base Station Location

Base station location: At the center of the cell (Omni-directional antenna) At the vertices of three cells (directional antennas)

Practical considerations usually do not allow base stations to be placed exactly as they appear in the hexagonal layout (~1/4 cell radius away from the ideal location)

How many calls does a cellular tower typically carry (1s, 10s, 100s, 1000s, 10000s)?
The number of calls a cellular tower can serve at any time is called the tower capacity. A cellular tower typically can serve around 100 to 200 customers at any time. Different configurations can increase or decrease the tower capacity.

Most Efficient Cell Shapes to Cover Large Regions

For proper cell shapes, let us observe the following points: Boarders of cells are straight lines and cell shapes are polygons (Polygons are geometric shapes with all edges being straight lines like triangles, rectangles, pentagons, ). Full coverage of the whole region is necessary without leaving any uncovered spots. We will assume that all cells have the same shape. Cells should have some symmetry (cells can be rotated in place at angles less than one complete rotation without affecting cells layout)


Cell Shape
Ex. hexagon geometry cell shape
Designed to serve the weakest mobiles within the footprint (typically located at the edge)
The hexagon has the largest area of the three regular shapes Simplistic model, Universally adopted Fewest number of cells can cover a geographic region

Approximate circular shape no gaps no overlap equal area

Do Cells in Reality have the Hexagonal Shape?

The answer is certainly NO. It is very rare that you see a cell that is close to hexagonal because of many reasons: 1) Geographical features such as mountains and valleys alter the shape of a cell significantly. Even small variations in height around the cellular tower affect the shape of the cell. 2) The inability of a cell phone company to place the cell towers in exactly the desired location due to geographical features or buildings. 3) The inefficiency of insuring hexagonal cells as sometimes the population density within the coverage area may vary making it more efficient to place more towers in regions with high population and less towers in regions with low population.

Why Do We Study Hexagonal Cells and not Non-Hexagonal Cells?

Because hexagonal cells are easier to analyze and they give a good understanding of the analysis techniques for nonhexagonal cells without the complication of irregularly shaped cells. So, we will limit our discussion to hexagonal cells only.

Are Cells Sometimes Intentionally Made Non-Hexagonal?

Yes. Two of the most spread nonhexagonal cell shapes are the (1) highway style coverage and (2) the Manhattan style coverage.

How Often Are Frequencies Reused (Frequency Reuse Factor)?

The frequency reuse factor is defined as 1 over the number of cells in the cluster of the system. Valid clusters are those that result in 6 cells with the same frequency of a particular cell located at equal distance from it.

1-Cell Frequency Reuse Cluster (Frequency Reuse Factor = 1)

Whole band of frequency is used in the cell and reused in Each of the adjacent Cells

2-Cell Frequency Reuse Cluster

3-Cell Frequency Reuse Cluster (Frequency Reuse Factor = 1/3)

4-Cell Frequency Reuse Cluster (Frequency Reuse Factor = 1/4)

5-Cell Frequency Reuse Cluster (Frequency Reuse Factor = 1/5)

What Makes a Cell Frequency Pattern Valid or Invalid?

It is not wither you can stack clusters near each other to cover the whole desired coverage area or not. For example, 2Cell and 5cell frequency reuse clusters can cover the whole area without gaps. However, if you look at either the 2 or 5, you note that to each cell there are some close cochannel cells (not equal to 6) and there are some cochannel cells at a farther away distance (also not equal to 6). This makes the interference be dominated by the close cochannel cells. So, we are splitting the frequency band into smaller regions in the hope of reducing the interference but we are not necessarily getting the benefits of this.

What do We Gain What do We Loose with Frequency Reuse?

The higher the number of divisions of the spectrum over cells (higher cellreuse factor), the lower the capacity of the network but the further away cells with similar frequency allocations are located resulting in lower interference. The lower the number of divisions of the spectrum over cells (Lower cellreuse factor), the higher the capacity of the network but the closer cells with similar frequency allocations are located resulting in higher interference.

Frequency Allocation Concepts

Assume that the total frequency band allocated for a cellular system is B Hz, and that each halfduplex channel requires W Hz, the number of fullduplex channels S that the total band supports (one channel for transmission and one for reception) is S=B/2W Let the total number of fullduplex channels be divided equally among N cells (in an NCell Frequency reuse system). The total number of channels k assigned to each cell becomes

K=S/N with a frequency reuse factor FRF given by FRF=1/N

The N cells over which the complete frequency band has been divided is called a CLUSTER. If this cluster is repeated M times over the coverage area, this gives a total number of fullduplex channels in the coverage area C equal to

Cluster Size and System Capacity

Assume the following system parameters: K Number of channels in a cell N Number of cells/cluster (Cluster size) M Number of times the cluster is repeated S = KN Number of channels in a cluster C Total number of channels C = MkN = MS

If a total of 33 MHz of bandwidth is allocated to a particular FDD cellular telephone system which uses two 25 kHz simplex channels to provide full duplex voice and control channels, (1) compute the number of channels available per cell if a system uses (a) 4-cell reuse, (b) 7-cell reuse (c) 12-cell reuse. If 1 MHz of the allocated spectrum is dedicated to control channels, (2) determine an how many control channels and voice channels in each cell for each of the three systems.

Cluster Size and System Capacity

Cluster size N (with cell size const) more clusters are required to cover a given area C and hence more capacity Co-channel cells become closer Cluster size N (with cell size const) the ratio between cell size and the distance between co-channel cells is large Design Objectives for Cluster Size 1. High spectrum efficiency many users per cell small cluster size gives much bandwidth per cell 2. High performance Little interference Large cluster sizes

Cluster Size and System Capacity

There are only certain cluster sizes and cell layout which are possible in order to connect without gaps between adjacent cells

N = i2 + ij + j2 , where i and j are non-negative integers Example i = 2, j = 1 N = 22 + 2(1) + 12 = 4 + 2 + 1 = 7

Typical Cluster Sizes N = 1, 3, 4, 7, 9, 12, 13, 16, 19, 21

Frequency Reuse Again

Frequency Reuse

Nearest co-channel

To find the nearest co-channel neighbors of a particular cell:

Move i cells along any chain of hexagon Then turn 60 degree counterclockwise and move j cells

Nearest co-channel

Distance between Co-Channel Cell Centers

Geometry of a Hexagon

Channel Assignment Strategies

Fixed Channel Assignments Each cell is allocated a predetermined set of voice channels If all the channels in that cell are occupied, the call is blocked, and the subscriber does not receive service Variation includes a borrowing strategy: a cell is allowed to borrow channels from a neighboring cell if all its own channels are occupied This is supervised by the Mobile Switch Center: Connects cells to wide area network; Manages call setup; Handles mobility

Channel Assignment Strategies

Dynamic Channel Assignments Voice channels are not allocated to different cells permanently Each time a call request is made, the serving base station requests a channel from the MSC MSC then allocates a channel to the requested call according to algorithm taking into account different factors: frequency re-use of candidate channel and cost factors Dynamic channel assignment is more complex (real time), but reduces likelihood of blocking

Mobile moves from one cell to another cell while a conversation is in progress

There are two base station antennas that are transmitting a signal of equal power to the phone The primary base station of the cell in which the car is moving and a secondary base station in the neighboring cell the car is approaching The signal from the secondary station causes interference with the signal from the primary station resulting a degradation of the cell phones capabilities Thus the power of the signal received by the cell phone varies as the car moves along

Signal-to-interference ratio Or Carrier-to-interference ratio

Signal-to-interference ratio

Once we know the height of the antennas and the distance between base stations, both the power of the received signals and hence the signal-tointerference ratio can be computed

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Signal-to-interference ratio

Designers must specify an optimum signal level at which to initiate a handoff. Margin () is defined, = handoff threshold - Minimum acceptable signal to maintain the call If too small: Insufficient time to complete handoff before call is lost More call losses If too large: Too many handoffs Burden for MSC


Call Dropped
Handoff is not made and call is dropped if: Large delay by the MSC in assigning a handoff Threshold margin () is set too small for the handoff time in the system. Excessive delays may occur during high traffic condition due to computational loading at the MSC No channels are available on any of the nearby base stations (thus forcing the MSC to wait until a channel in a nearby cell becomes free)

Dwell Time
It is the time over which a call may be maintained within a cell, without handoff
Depends on:

Propagation, interference, distance between the subscriber and the base station, and other time varying effects. (the speed of the user and the type of radio coverage)

Even a stationary subscriber may have a random and finite dwell time due to fading effect.

Styles of Handoff
Network Controlled Handoff (NCHO)
- In first generation cellular system, each base station constantly monitors signal strength from mobiles in its cell - Based on the measures, MSC decides if handoff necessary - Mobile plays passive role in process - Burden on MSC

Mobile Assisted Handoff (MAHO) - Mobile measures received power from surrounding base stations and report
to serving base station - Handoff initiated when power received from a neighboring cell exceeds current value by a certain level or for a certain period of time - Faster since measurements made by mobiles, MSC dont need monitor signal strength

Intersystem Handoff
If a mobile moves from one cellular system to different cellular system controlled by a different compatible MSC

When a mobile signal becomes weak in a given cell and the MSC cannot find another cell within its system to which it can transfer the call in progress

Prioritizing Handoff
Dropping a call is more annoying than line busy Guard channel concept (Decrease the probability of forced termination due to lack of available channels) Reserve some channels for handoffs Waste of bandwidth But can be dynamically predicted Queuing of handoff requests (due to lack of available channels) There is a finite time interval between time for handoff and time to drop (signal goes below the handoff threshold) Better tradeoff between dropping call probability and network traffic

Practical Handoff Considerations

(1) Practically, several problems arise when attempting to design for a wide range of mobile velocities High speed vehicles pass through the coverage region of a cell within a matter of seconds, whereas pedestrian users may never need a handoff during a call Particularly with the addition of microcells to provide capacity, the MSC can quickly become burdened if high speed users are constantly being passed between very small cells

(2) Another practical limitation is the ability to obtain new cell sites. In practice it is difficult for cellular service providers to obtain new physical cell site locations in urban areas

The umbrella Cell Solution

Is used to provide large area coverage to high speed users while providing small area coverage to users traveling at low speeds By using different antenna heights (often on the same building or tower) and different power levels, it is possible to provide large and small cells which are co-located at a single location # handoffs is minimized for high speed users and provides additional microcell channels for pedestrian users

If a high speed user in the large umbrella cell is approaching the base station, and its velocity is rapidly decreasing, the base station may decide to hand the user into the co-located microcell, without MSC intervention

Umbrella Cell Approach

Cell Dragging
As the user travels away from the base station at a very slow speed, the average signal strength does not decay rapidly Even when the user has traveled well beyond the designed range of the cell, the received signal at the base station may be above the handoff threshold, thus a handoff may not be made

Interference and traffic management problem, since the user has meanwhile traveled deep within a neighboring cell

To solve this problem, handoff thresholds and radio coverage parameters must be adjusted carefully

Interference and System Capacity

Interference is the major limiting factor in performance of cellular radio systems Sources of interference: Mobiles in same cell A call in progress in a neighboring cell Other base stations operating in the same frequency band Non-cellular system leaking energy into the cellular frequency band Effect of interference: Cross talk in voice channels For control channels missed or blocked calls The two main types are: co-channel interference adjacent channel interference

Co-channel Interference
Co-channel cells: Cells that use the same set of frequencies Unlike thermal noise which can be overcome by increasing the signal-tonoise ration (SNR), co-channel interference cannot be combated by simply increasing the carrier power of a transmitter To reduce co-channel interference, co-channel cells must be physically separated by a minimum distance to provide sufficient isolation due to propagation

Co-channel Interference
When the size of each cell is the same, and the BSs transmit the same power, the co-channel interference ratio depends on: The radius of the cell (R) The distance between centers of the nearest co-channel cells (D)

Co-channel reuse ratio:

Q increases Q decreases

Interference decreases Interference increases (cluster size N decreases and system capacity increases)

Co-channel Reuse Ratio

Signal-to-Interference Ratio
The signal-to-interference ratio (S/I or SIR) for a mobile receiver which monitors a forward channel (Down Link Channel) =

S : The desired signal power from the desired base station Ii : The interference power caused by the ith interfering cell base station. i0 : The number of interfering cells.

Co-channel Interference
Assumptions The interference is due to co-channel base stations. The transmit power of each base station is equal The path loss exponent (n) is the same throughout the coverage area, S/I for a mobile can be approximated as

Adjacent Channel Interference

Origin: Arising from signals which are adjacent in frequency to the desired signal

Become serious by Imperfect receiver filters which allow nearby frequencies to leak into the passband (near-far-effect) The Adjacent Channel Interference that a receiver A experiences from a transmitter B is the sum of power that B emits into A's channel ( which is called the unwanted emission and represented by the ACLR (Adjacent Channel Leakage Ratio) B emitting power into A's channel is called Adjacent Channel Leakage, or unwanted emissions

If a mobile is 20 times as close to the base station as another mobile and has energy spill out of its passband, the signal-to- interference ratio at the base station for the weak mobile (before receiver filtering) is approximately

For a path loss exponent n = 4, this is equal to -52 dB

Trunking and Grade of Service

In cellular mobile communication, the two important aspect that has to be considered with more care are, 1) 2) Trunking Grade of Service (GOS) These aspects has to be well planned so that it will lead to a better system performance

Trunking deals with accommodation of large number of mobile users in minimum radio spectrum By using this Trunking concept it is possible to allow many users to share smaller number of mobile channels in a cell It is done by assigning channels on demand basis and allocating a channel from a pool of channels available That is if a user want to access a channel for establishing a call, then from the pool of channels the required channel will be assigned to the user

If call got terminated, then the channel used so far will return to the pool and will be ready for next call
The trunking concept finds application in telephone circuitry, mobile radio communication in a large way

Trunking Theory
Important to design trunked radio systems that can handle a specific capacity at a specific grade of service, GOS Trunking theory was developed by Erlang Erlang based his studies of the statistical nature of the arrival and the length of calls. The measure of traffic intensity bears his name One Erlang represents the amount of traffic intensity carried by a channel that is completely occupied For example, a radio channel that is occupied for 15 minutes during an hour carries 0.25 Erlangs of traffic Traffic Intensity = = 0.25 Erlangs

The Grade of Service (GOS)

The grade of service (GOS) is a measure of the ability of a user to access a trunked system during the busiest hour It is used to define the desired performance of a particular trunked system GOS is typically given as the probability that a call is blocked, or the probability of a call experiencing a delay, greater than a certain queuing time

Some Definitions used in Trunking Theory

Set-up Time: The time required to allocate a trunked radio channel to requesting user

Blocked Call: Call which cannot be completed at the time of request

Holding Time (H): Average duration of a typical call (H in seconds) Traffic Intensity (A): Measure of channel time utilization (average channel occupancy measured in Erlangs) Load: Traffic intensity across the entire trunked radio system (Erlangs)

Grade of service (GOS): A measure of congestion which is specified as the probability of a call being blocked, or the probability of a call being delayed beyond a certain amount of time
Request Rate (): The average number of call request per unit time

Traffic Intensity (A)

Types of trunked systems

Erlang B formula

Improving Coverage & Capacity Increasing

Cell splitting

Cell splitting

The base stations are placed at corners of the cells The original base station A is surrounded by six new microcells In this example the smaller cells added in such a way as to preserve the frequency reuse plan of the system Each microcell base station is placed half way between two larger stations utilizing the same channel

Cell splitting simply scales the geometry of the cluster

The radius of each new microcell is half that of the original cell

Practical problems in Cell splitting

Channel Assignment Not all cells are split at the same time It is often difficult to find real estate that is perfectly situated for cell splitting Different cell sizes will exist simultaneously Special care needs to be taken to keep the distance between co-channel cells at the required minimum, and hence channel assignments become more complicated Handoff: High speed and low speed traffic should be simultaneously accommodated (the umbrella cell approach is commonly used).

Practical problems in Cell splitting

In practice different cell sizes will exist simultaneously

If the larger transmit power is used for all cells, some channels used by the smaller cells would not be sufficiently separated from co-channel cells If the smaller transmit power is used for all the cells, there would be parts of the larger cells left unserved

Cell Sectoring

Reduction of Co-channel interference using sector antennas

Cell Sectoring
The S/I improvement is achieved at the cost of the number of antennas at each base station Sectoring decreases trunking efficiency due to channel sectoring at the base station Since sectoring reduces the coverage area of a particular group of channels, the number of handoffs increases Handed off from sector to sector within the same cell without intervention from the MSC