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Analysis of the Soft Handover Procedure

in Downlink Direction
in UMTS WCDMA Systems
Simone Niglio
Politecnico di Milano
Faculty of Engineering
Department of Electronic and Information

Examiner:
Prof. A. Svensson

Supervisors:
Prof. L. Musumeci
Prof. P. Giacomazzi

Chalmers University of Technology


Department of Signals and Systems
SE-412 96 Gteborg, Sweden

EX035/2002
October 24, 2002

Index

Index

Chapter 1

Introduction

1.1 Scope of the thesis

Chapter 2

Soft handover

2.1 Introduction

2.2 Soft handover functionality

Chapter 3

Models and simulator

13

3.1 Introduction

13

3.2 Topology

13

3.3 Traffic generation

15

3.4 Propagation model

16

3.5 Access to the network

17

3.6 Mapping onto the physical channel

17

3.6.1 Source in ON

18

3.7 SIR computation

20

3.8 Computation of the powers for the sources in the OFF state

21
i

Index
3.9 Computation of interference

21

3.10 Power Control

22

3.11 Performance evaluation

23

3.12 Output statistics

24

3.13 Overall architecture of the simulator

25

Chapter 4

Analysis of the WCDMA system in downlink and testing of the

simulator

30

4.1 Introduction

30

4.2 Analytical computation of the average power transmitted

30

4.3 Analytical computation of the average distance and of the average pathloss in a cell

34

4.4 Evaluation of the average power transmitted through simulation

34

4.4.1 Absence of shadowing

35

4.4.2 Presence of shadowing Policy 1

37

4.4.3 Presence of shadowing Policy 2

38

4.4.4 Dependence on shadowing

41

4.5 Conclusions

Chapter 5

42

Soft handover performance

44

5.1 Introduction

44

5.2 Uniform load and active set composed by 2 base stations

46

5.2.1 Estimate of the percentage of users in soft handover

47

5.2.2 Simulation results with LIN method of Power Control without shadowing

50

5.2.3 Simulation results with LIN method of Power Control in presence of


shadowing

55

5.2.4 Simulation results with LUN method of Power Control in presence of


shadowing

59

5.3 Uniform load and active set composed also by 3 base stations

63

5.4 Not uniform load

71

5.4.1 Scenario without shadowing and with active set composed by 2 base stations

72
ii

Index
5.4.2 Scenario without shadowing and with active set composed also by 3 base stations 76
5.4.3 Scenario with shadowing and with active set composed by 2 base stations

78

5.4.4 Scenario with shadowing and with active set composed also by 3 base stations

82

5.5 Conclusions

Chapter 6

References

84

Conclusions

86

91

iii

Chapter 1

Chapter 1
Introduction
The demand for multimedia mobile services at high rates, up to 2.048 Mbps, has led to the
definition of third generation (3G) digital cellular systems, standardized in Europe by ETSI
(European

Telecommunication

Standards

Institute)

as

UMTS

(Universal

Mobile

Telecommunication Systems) systems [1][2].


3G systems use the wideband code division multiple access technique (WCDMA), which allows
sharing the available spectrum among cells with a reuse factor equal to one.
The advantages of UMTS systems include not only a better efficiency in spectrum reuse, but also a
higher immunity against the fading due to multipaths, a better and easier employment of
sectorization and the adoption of more robust handover procedures [3].
In systems with a TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) or a FDMA (Frequency Division
Multiple Access) access technique, handover is achieved via a change of the frequency used by the
connection which is going to pass through the cell boundaries. In particular, in the GSM system, the
mobile terminal also measures the level of the signal received by the base stations of the
neighbouring cells. Such measures are periodically sent to the network. As soon as the quality of the
active communication goes below a certain threshold, the network decides to change the channel
used with another one belonging to the base station from which the mobile receives signals with a
better quality. The change of the channel used, done in real time in order to guarantee continuity to
communication, results in a new routing of the call in the network. The handover procedure ends in
a good way if, when it is done, there are available radio resources and the execution times of this
procedure produce a very short interruption of the call [4].

Chapter 1
Instead, in systems which use a CDMA access technique, handover procedures dont have to
respect any particular temporal constrain. This functionality, called soft handover, is made possible
by the macro diversity mechanism, so that the mobile doesnt have to be connected just to one base
station, but it can use, in the same moment during the call, other BSs from which it receives
reference signals with a sufficient good quality. In this way, the steps of the handover procedure
(i.e. release of a base station and connection to a new one) may happen in different moments
without the constrain of working in very short times, as it is required in TDMA systems.
In WCDMA systems, the soft handover procedure is still a theme for research. This thesis takes its
stand in this stream of research, in order to evaluate some performance aspects of the soft handover
procedure not yet sufficiently considered. In the following, it is assumed to be known the basic
principles about UMTS networks, widely related in ETSI 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project)
specifications and in literature [1][2][3].

1.1 Scope of the thesis


The present work has been done with the scope to evaluate performance in the downlink direction
for the voice service, with an Adaptive Multi Rate (AMR) encoder, in a UMTS network with a
WCDMA FDD (Frequency Division Duplex) radio interface in presence of soft handover.
The downlink direction is the communication link from a base station to a mobile terminal, whereas
the uplink one is related to the opposite path, i.e. from a mobile terminal to a base station. WCDMA
FDD systems use separate frequency bands for uplink and downlink channels; in Europe there have
been allocated the paired bands 1920 1980 MHz for uplink and 2110 2170 MHz for downlink.
The soft handover procedure requires a different study for the two directions, uplink and downlink,
as it has been pointed out by the 3GPP normative [3].

In literature it has been principally

considered the uplink performance analysis, where it is natural to work in macro diversity, because
many base stations can receive the signal transmitted by a mobile user. Signals, received by
different base stations, can be combined at the upper hierarchical level (Node B or RNC), allowing
a relevant quality enhancement.
In downlink, the application of the soft handover procedure requires an increase in the number of
connections in order to serve the same number of users in the system, since each base station, to
which the terminal is connected, must establish a transport channel towards the terminal itself.
2

Chapter 1
Hence, the advantages of macro diversity (e.g. improvement of communication quality, combining
frame by frame signals with a high energy contribute) are often balanced by the disadvantages
coming from a higher use of resources.
In particular, the study done in this thesis has the goal to evaluate system performance in terms of
average total power, transmitted by each base station, with soft handover active in downlink, being
the total power transmitted one of the main variables which limit system capacity. In fact, a
reduction or an increase in the total power transmitted corresponds to an increase or a reduction of
system capacity.
In the study of soft handover another important parameter is the number of base stations, to which
the user is connected, called the active set. Another relevant parameter is the threshold value ,
defined as the maximum difference, in dB, allowed between the pilot signal received from the best
serving base station (i.e. from which the user receives the strongest signal) and the pilot signal
received from another base station, with which it is possible to work in macro diversity. Generally,
in literature the maximum dimension of the active set is assumed to be equal to two, whereas the
value of is fixed equal to 3 dB. In the present work, there are taken into account scenarios with a
maximum dimension of the active set equal to three and with different values of the parameter .
In presence of macro diversity, downlink system performance depends on the contribute in power,
given by each base station, in order to reach the target value of Eb/N0. In order to investigate that
aspect in a better way, two Power Control (PC) schemes are implemented. The first one, called
with independent loops, LIN, allows the possibility to assign a priori a fraction of SIR target to
each base station in the active set, in order to reach the target value of Eb/N0. That is obtained
sending, in the uplink direction, distinct PC commands, i.e. using more uplink channels, each one
towards a BS of the active set. The second PC scheme, called with a unique loop, LUN,
reproduces the behaviour of real systems, where a unique PC command, identical for each base
station of the active set, is sent by the mobile on the unique uplink control channel. The comparison
between the two PC schemes allows evaluating where it is the performance level, with which the
PC scheme, proposed by ETSI [3] for real systems, works, with respect to an alternative PC
scheme, more flexible but also more complex to implement.
Moreover, since possible advantages, deriving from soft handover procedure, depend on system
traffic conditions too, two scenarios of load are taken into account:

Uniform all over the system;

Not uniform, with a cell more loaded than the others.

Chapter 1
In the former scenario each base station, when it applies macro diversity to its own users, receives
an help from the other cells in the system, equal to that one it offers. In the latter scenario, instead,
only the users in the more loaded cell are subject to macro diversity.
Hence, the study done in this thesis has the purpose to evaluate:

the influence of macro diversity on the average total power transmitted by each base
station, with scenarios characterised by uniform and not uniform load;

the dependence of the average total power, transmitted by each base station, on the
value assumed by the parameter and on the dimensions of the active set.

The topology of the system analysed is of macro cellular type, formed by a regular pattern of
hexagonal cells. Each cell is served by one base station, located in its centre and equipped with an
omnidirectional antenna. All the users in the system are motionless and they ask for the same
service with the same quality requirements; the service offered is of voice type, with an AMR
encoder at 12.2 kbps.
Performance results have been obtained using an event network simulator, written in C++ language.
In order to test the validity of the simulation model proposed, downlink system performance, with
uniform load and without soft handover, is also evaluated analytically, using models described in
literature [1][5].
The thesis is organised in the following way. In Chapter 2 the soft handover procedure is described,
in reference to ETSI specifications [3]. In Chapter 3 the simulation model employed is described,
showing the methods for computing and controlling powers, and introducing the parameters for
performance measures. In Chapter 4 the experimental results are compared with the analytical one
without the soft handover procedure, in order to test the simulator proposed. In Chapter 5 there are
analysed the results obtained via simulation, applying the soft handover procedure to different
network scenarios. At the end, the conclusions of the work are discussed in Chapter 6.

Chapter 2

Chapter 2
Soft handover

2.1 Introduction
A mobile radio network has to guarantee, together with the functions strictly related to the set up
and to the drop of radio channels, a set of functionality, which takes into account the user mobility.
The main requirement is to ensure continuity to connections, despite of situations of discontinuity
due to cellular coverage. It is known that in mobile networks the cellular architecture allows
frequency reuse: the same carrier, used in a given cell, can be used again in another cell, provided
that cell is at a distance sufficiently far to limit the interference between each other. The concept of
cellular coverage, therefore, highlights the following problem: to maintain the continuity of
connection while the mobile user passes through the boundaries of a cell. Such a process is called
handover [3].
In networks with a TDMA / FDMA hybrid access, handover is achieved via a change of the carrier
used by the mobile user, which is crossing the boundary of the its own cell. In particular, in a GSM
system the terminal continually measures the level and the quality of the signal received from the
cell close to that one where the user is. Such a measure is sent to the network on a signalling
channel, associated to the traffic channel existing between the network and the terminal [4]. As
soon as the quality of the communication in act goes below a certain threshold, the network decides
to change the radio channel assigned with another one belonging to the base station which, from the
measures done, results to be the best one received by the mobile terminal. Hence, a procedure is
applied in order to allow the change of the communication channel in a very short time interval,
5

Chapter 2
guaranteeing continuity to the communication in act. The constrain of working in a very short time
interval represents the price to pay in order to have an acceptable handover procedure.
In the case of CDMA systems, the typical distance for frequency reuse is equal to 1, i.e. all the
mobile terminals use the same frequency. That property leads to a substantial innovation both in the
access mode of the terminal to the network and in the functions related to the maintenance of
continuity of communication. In fact, in a CDMA system the macro diversity mechanism, which
allows maintaining a communication active through more than one radio path, with different base
stations too, makes it possible to implement the handover procedure without any critical constrain;
therefore, it is called soft handover.
Hence, soft handover and macro diversity are strictly related to one each other. In the phase of
change of the channel, typical of the handover process, the continuity of communication is
guaranteed through the multiplicity of the paths obtained among the mobile terminal and the base
stations involved. So, the macro diversity mechanism constitutes an interesting remedy to the
temporal constrains which penalise the handover process in the existing FDMA and FDMA/TDMA
systems.

2.2 Soft handover functionality


In a CDMA system it is natural to apply the concept of macro diversity, so, with the purpose to
improve the quality of communication, the mobile terminal involves in the call all the base stations,
from which it receives a sufficiently good reference signal.
Macro diversity makes particularly easy the handover operation, called for this reason soft
handover, which doesnt have to be completed in critical time intervals. Often, the words soft
handover and macro diversity are used as synonymous, also if they represent two different
processes.
Macro diversity is achieved in different ways, according to the transmission direction, uplink or
downlink.
In uplink (Figure 2.1), the signal transmitted by a mobile, which is in the soft handover zone, is
received by all the base stations belonging to the active set.
6

Chapter 2

RNC

BS 2
BS 1
MS

BS:
Base Station
MS: Mobile Station
RNC: Radio Network Controller

Figure 2.1 Soft handover

Macro diversity in uplink requires the assignment of just one channel between the mobile and the
base stations involved and it allows a quality improvement, combining the signals received in the
upper hierarchical level (Node B, when the BSs involved belong to the same Node B, or RNC
controller, when the BSs belong to different Nodes B). The quantity of the improvement also
depends on the mode of signal combining: it is possible to use a simple mechanism of selection, for
which it is chosen the signal that contains fewer errors (macro diversity realised at RNC level) or it
is possible to use all the signals received, combining the different contributes (macro diversity
realised at Node B level).
In downlink, in order to allow a user working in macro diversity with more base stations, it need to
assign a channel between the mobile terminal and each base station of the active set. That gives rise
to an increase in interference and to a reduction in the available resources, when the number of
users in soft handover increases. Moreover, the effects of macro diversity are strictly related to the
Power Control procedure applied.

Chapter 2
Also in downlink, the mobile terminal can improve the quality of the signal received, combining in
the right way, frame by frame, the useful signals received. Normative prescribes to compute the
total SIR (Signal to Interference Ratio) as sum of the single SIRs received by each base station of
the active set. To reach the Quality of Service desired, expressed in terms of a target value of the
Eb/N0 ratio, Power Control provides to establish if the different base stations have to increase or to
decrease the power transmitted on the corresponding connection. In a real system, the PC command
is unique for all the base stations of the active set, since the mobile terminal uses only one uplink
control channel.
The employment of macro diversity in the network can involve further advantages. First of all it is
possible to obtain an increase in system capacity. In fact, macro diversity can be exploited in order
to guarantee the target of quality required, with a reduction in the power transmitted by the mobile
terminal (in uplink) or by the base station (in downlink), using signal combining. In such a way, the
system works with lower power levels with respect to the case when it works without macro
diversity; since a CDMA system is limited in power, this allows an increase in the overall system
capacity.
Another advantage, deriving from macro diversity, is a better protection of the system against
shadowing, due to the presence of obstacles between the mobile terminal and the base station. In
fact, if a user is connected, at the same time, to more BSs, it is less probable that it has obstacles in
all the directions with the different base stations.
In the soft handover procedure, the following two parameters are taken into account:

Active set, defined as the set of the base stations with which the mobile terminal
establishes a communication;

Soft handover margin, , defined as the maximum difference, in dB, among the signals
received by the base stations in order to work in macro diversity; increasing the value of
the superposition among cells, in terms of coverage, increases.

The above mentioned parameters can be used to control the number of users in soft handover. In
fact, in the phase of radio network planning, the parameters, concerning to handover and to cell
characteristics, must be chosen in such a way to limit the percentage of users in soft handover. In
literature [1], it is suggested to have percentages of users in soft handover not higher than 30 40 %
of those one present in the system, first of all because too high percentages could reduce downlink
system capacity. In this direction, in fact, each connection in soft handover increases the
interference transmitted on the network. When the increase in interference is higher than the gain
8

Chapter 2
due to macro diversity, the soft handover procedure does not give any more improvement to system
performance. Moreover, in downlink the calls in soft handover uses more orthogonal codes.
In order to decide if and with which base stations to work in macro diversity, the mobile terminal
measures the Ec/I0 signal received over the CPICH pilot channel transmitted by the BSs of the
neighbouring cells. Comparing the pilot signal received from the base station to which it is
connected with those one received from other cells, the mobile determines which signals are
received over certain thresholds assigned in order to apply soft handover. One possible algorithm to
implement the soft handover procedure is quoted in ETSI 3GPP specifications [6].
Figure 2.2 shows the most relevant aspects of the soft handover mechanism proposed. In particular,
considering as the pilot signal, received from three base stations of the system, varies in time, and
limiting the maximum dimension of the active set to two, the soft handover algorithm works with
the following procedures, based on the use of pre-assigned thresholds on the differences among
signals, measured in dBm:

Addition of a base station to the active set.


If the difference between the pilot signal level received from the strongest base station in
the active set (BS 1) and that one received from a base station not belonging to the active
set (BS 2) is less than a certain threshold value, decreased of the relative hysteresis, for a
certain time interval T, the new base station is added to the active set if this one is not
full;

Substitution of a base station of the active set.


If the active set is full but the pilot signal received from a base station (BS 3) results to
be superior of a certain margin, for a time period T, to that one of the worst base station
(BS 1) belonging to the active set, the latter BS is substituted;

Removal of a base station from the active set.


If the pilot signal received from a base station (BS 3) of the active set is inferior of a
certain threshold value, increased of the relative hysteresis, with respect to the pilot
signal level received from the strongest base station (BS 2) in the active set, for a time
interval T, the former BS is removed from the active set.

Chapter 2

Pilot Signal
Ec / I0

BS 1

SH_Thr
+ Rem_Hys

SH_Thr
- Add_Hys
Sub_Hys

BS 2
BS 3
Events
Addition of BS 2
to the active set
SH_Thr:
Add_Hys:
Sub_Hys:
Rem_Hys:

Substitution
of BS1 with BS 3
in the active set

Removal of BS3
from the active set

Threshold for Soft Handover


Hysteresis of Addition
Hysteresis of Substitution
Hysteresis of Removal

Figure 2.2 Soft handover algorithm

The Ec/I0 pilot signal, used in the soft handover algorithm, is estimated, for example taking an
arithmetic average of the last measures. In such a way it is possible to avoid useless handovers. The
time interval, during which carrying out the estimation, depends on the speed with which the user
moves and on the service required. In fact, from studies conducted in [1], it results that when the
terminal moves slowly, in order to improve the quality of measurement, it is useful to work with
long periods; maintaining the same periods with high speeds, instead, provokes delays, often
unacceptable, in the application of the handover procedure. In this case, in fact, short periods give
good measures. The choice of the interval, during which computing data estimation, results,
therefore, from a compromise between quality of measurement and handover delay.
10

Chapter 2

On the basis of 3GPP specifications and of original models, in literature there have been published
the results of some specific studies on the performance of the soft handover procedure in uplink and
downlink. Although the number of contributes is particularly limited, it is worthwhile to summarize
some of the most relevant aspects. In such contributes, it is always referred to a soft handover
procedure in which the active set is formed by two base stations.
Generally, it is always confirmed that soft handover procedure improves the capacity and the
coverage of a WCDMA system. In [7] it is shown that, in both uplink and downlink, the highest
gains, in terms of capacity, are obtained when the difference, between the pilot signals of the base
stations in the active set, is equal to 0 dB. Moreover, with a particular reference to the uplink, when
the difference between the two pilot signals is high (almost 10 dB), the soft handover can cause an
increase in the power transmitted by the mobile terminal. This increase is due to signalling errors in
the Power Control commands transmitted by the base stations of the active set towards the mobile.
In the studies reported in [8], conducted via simulation, there have been inferred increases, in terms
of coverage and capacity, in the performance of a CDMA system in the uplink direction when the
soft handover is applied with two base stations. In [9], instead, there have been analysed the
advantages deriving from the use of the best one of the frames received in uplink by the two base
stations of the active set; such advantages are expressed in terms of a lower power transmitted by
the mobile terminal (and, so, of an increase in the uplink capacity) and of a wider cell coverage, in
particular when the user moves slowly and with a channel characterised by few multiple paths.
As regards the downlink direction, there are available few contributes on performance evaluation of
the soft handover procedure. The study reported in [10], with an active set composed by two base
stations, points out that two opposite effects can happen:
1. A capacity reduction, because two traffic channels are assigned to each user working in
soft handover;
2. A capacity increase, due to macro diversity gain; such an increase becomes lower when
the channel activity rate increases.
Moreover, the users at the cell border measure an improvement in quality when soft handover is
applied; in such a case the capacity results to be limited by the mobile terminals on the boundary
between the zone where it is possible to apply soft handover and that one where such a procedure
cannot be used.
In [11], starting from what it has been studied in [10], it is evaluated how the gain, in terms of SIR,
varies when soft handover is applied. Limiting the active set to two base stations and letting vary
11

Chapter 2
the margin , it is found that the gain depends strictly on the kind of radio channel (i.e. on the
number of multiple paths) and on the user density. As the number of users increases, the
improvements, in terms of SIR, due to soft handover, decrease because of the increase in
interference, so that the best results are obtained with an handover procedure without the use of
macro diversity (hard handover).

12

Chapter 3

Chapter 3
Models and simulator
3.1 Introduction
In this chapter there is shown the simulation model employed in the study of downlink system
performance, both when soft handover is implemented and when such a procedure is not allowed.
First of all it is defined the topology taken into account; subsequently there are reported the models
assumed for voice traffic generation, for signal propagation, for radio network access and for
mapping of data stream onto the physical channel.
There are, hence, presented the relations used to determine the signal to interference ratio (SIR).
Finally, there are pointed out the principal parameters adopted for performance evaluation.

3.2 Topology
The model employed in simulations is composed by an n x n regular pattern of hexagonal cells,
with inner radius R and with a base station (BS) situated in the centre. Mobile stations (MSs) are
allowed to occupy any fixed position on a rectangular grid with step d, as shown in Figure 3.1. In
order to avoid edge effects, the pattern has been disposed on a toroidal surface. The computation of
the distance, between a generic MS and a BS, refers to a replied structure of 2n x 2n dimensions.
Therefore, besides the distance between a point of the grid and a base station of the system, they are
computed also those one which are between the same point and the three replies of the BS in the
plane, and it is defined as distance the minimum one among the four one found (Figure 3.2).
13

Chapter 3

R
2R

Figure 3.1 Structure

In simulations they will be adopted the following values for the parameters defined before:

n = 4;

d = 50 m;

R = 1 km.

Therefore, the distance between two BSs, belonging to adjacent cells, is equal to 2R.
Such parameters can be changed in order to obtain different scenarios.

14

Chapter 3

Figure 3.2 Toroidal structure

3.3 Traffic generation


In the system taken into account, voice traffic is made up of calls generated according to a Poisson
process with mean = T [call/frame] and probability density function
f X (x ) = e

x
x!

where x is the number of calls born in a frame period T, whereas is the average number of calls
per second. Each frame lasts 10 ms, in agreement with UMTS specifications [3].
According to ETSI [2], the traffic model for speech calls is of ON-OFF type (Figure 3.3), with
active and idle periods.
At the beginning of each frame, new calls are extracted. Each new call is associated to a MS of the
system, whose physical position is uniformly distributed on the whole of all the possible points of
the grid.

15

Chapter 3

ON

OFF

Figure 3.3 ON-OFF source


If the network can accept the new call, a new speech source is set with the following characteristics:
1. The duration of conversation is extracted according to an exponential distribution with
mean Tcall equal to 120 s;
2. A new bernoullian random variable (p = 0.5) is extracted in order to decide what will be
the initial state of the source (ON or OFF);
3. The time of stay in ON and OFF state is distributed according to an exponential random
variable with mean 3 s.
The traffic offered per cell, A0, can be determined through the expression
A0 =

TCall
N BS

[Erl/cell]

where NBS is the number of cells in the system. Once fixed the value of A0, the previous relations
allows to determine the value of and, hence, the value of = TFrame [calls/frame], where TFrame
is the frame duration.

3.4 Propagation model


For the evaluation of system performance in a macro-cellular environment, it is considered that the
signal Pr, received by a mobile station, is given by
Pr = Pt

10
10

10
10

where Pt is the power of the signal transmitted by the BS and L, expressed in dB, represents the path
loss between source and destination. Path loss computation is based on the following relation [3],
expressed in dB
L = 128.1 + 37.6 log10 (D )
16

Chapter 3
where D is the distance, expressed in km, between a generic BS and a generic MS.
The factor 10/10 takes shadowing into account, i.e. signal fluctuations due to possible physical
obstacles on the propagation path. Shadowing is modelled with a lognormal distribution, so that the
random variable , measured in dB, can be obtained from a normal distribution N(,2) with null
mean and standard deviation . For simulations it has been chosen the value = 10 dB, in
agreement with normative.
This model does not take the fast fading phenomenon into account, because users are assumed to be
in a fixed position.

3.5 Access to the network


At the birth of a new call, the mobile station, which the call is associated to, is connected to a base
station according to the following procedure:
1. There are determined the values of the path loss Lj of the MS towards all the BSs (j =
1,,16);
2. There are determined the values of the shadowing j of the MS towards all the BSs (j =
1,,16);
3. The total attenuation factor, Lj j, is computed;
4. The call is assigned to the base station j for which the value Lj j is minimum.
Such a way of choosing the base station extends the borders of the cell beyond its physical limits,
because, due to shadowing, it is not true that each mobile station is assigned to the physically
closest BS.
Once the best serving BS has been determined, the Call Admission Control (CAC) procedure will
decide if the call can be accepted or not and, when the soft handover procedure is present, if it can
be carried out in macro diversity.

3.6 Mapping onto the physical channel


The speech encoder with variable rate employed in UMTS, uses the Adaptive Multi Rate (AMR)
technique. Such an encoder works on 20 ms frames and the encode scheme adopted is the Algebraic
Excited Linear Prediction (ACELP) one, which provides for a subdivision of the bits generated
17

Chapter 3

DPDCH

Data 1
Ndata1 bits

Slot 1

DPCCH

TPC
NTPC bits

Slot 2

TFCI
NTFCI bits

DPCCH

DPCCH

Data2
Ndata2 bits

Pilot
Npilot bits

Slot i

Slot 15

Figure 3.4 Structure of the frame and of the slot in the downlink DPCH

into three different classes, according to their importance in terms of comprehension of the speech
signal. The three classes are:

A: it contains the most significant bits;

B: it contains bits less significant than those ones in class A;

C: it contains the least significant bits.

The mapping procedure, proposed for simulations, considers that all the bits, generated by the
speech encoder, are of class A; that means all the bits will be codify with a convolutional code with
rate Rc = 1/3.
In Figure 3.4 there are shown the frame of the downlink Dedicated Physical Channel (DPCH) and
the structure of each slot [12].

3.6.1 Source in ON
The voice stream at 12.2 kbps, obtained with an AMR encoder, is treated on the downlink DPCH
according to the scheme shown in Figure 3.5, where:

18

Chapter 3

13.2 kbps

39.6 kbps

Voice
CRC
Tail

12.2 kbps

51 kbps

Rate
Matching

Rc

60 kbps

DPCCH

30 ksps

QPSK

3.84 Mcps

SF

1 kbps

Figure 3.5 Scheme of the voice stream management

Channel
SF

Bit Rate

Channel
Symbol

Bits/

Rate

Slot

[kbps]

128

60

[ksps]

30

40

DPDCH

DPCCH

Bits/Slot

Bits/Slot

Ndata1

Ndata2

28

NTPC

NTFCI

Npilot

Table 3.1 Parameter values

1.

CRC and Tail bits, respectively equal to 12 bit and 8 bit every 20 ms, are added;

2.

A convolutional code at rate Rc = 1/3 is applied;

3.

Rate matching is applied;

4.

TPC and Pilot bits are added (DPPCH channel);

5.

QPSK modulation scheme is applied;

6.

Spreading factor, SF, is applied.

The values of the different parameters are reported in Table 3.1 [12].
In transmission, starting from a stream at 12.2 kbps, every 10 ms, there are 122 information bits; to
those bits there are added a total of 10 bits of CRC and Tail, resulting in a stream at 13.2 kbps.
Applying a convolutional code at rate 1/3 (all class A bits), it is obtained a stream at 39.6 kbps,
corresponding to 396 bits every 10 ms. The rate matching procedure adds 114 bits in order to fill
the 510 data bits of the frame, resulting in a stream at 51 kbps. The addition of 90 bits of TPC and
Pilot produces a Channel Bit Rate of 60 kbps. The employment of a QPSK modulator results in a
symbol rate of 30 ksps. Using a spreading factor SF = 128, the chip rate W = 3.18 Mcps is obtained.
In reception, after the despreading operation, the Eb/N0 ratio is equal to
19

Chapter 3
Eb
1
1
= *
SF SIR
lg 2 (M )
N 0 Rc

(3.1)

where:

Rc* =

132
N
=
3N + D 510

considering that N are the bits at the entry of the convolutional encoder and D are those
ones added by the rate matching procedure;

600
510

taking the 90 bits used for the control channel DPCCH into account (600 are the bits in
each frame);

M = 4;

SF = 128;

SIR is the Signal-to-Interference Ratio.

Therefore, the process gain is equal to


1
1

SF = 291
*
lg 2 (M )
Rc

3.7 SIR computation


The SIR, measured in each mobile station before the despreading operation, is equal to
SIR =

I intra

Pr
+ I inter + PN

where:

Pr is the power received by the MS;

Iintra is the intracell interference;

Iinter is the intercell interference;

PN is the noise power.

20

Chapter 3

3.8 Computation of the powers for the sources in the OFF


state
In the OFF state, each source just transmits, on some slots of the frame, information related to
control channel and Comfort Noise.
Supposing to work with the same power value, PON, used in the ON state, the average power
transmitted, on a frame base, can be obtained through the following relation

Pt ,OFF T = PON T1
being T the frame duration, measured in slots, and T1 the number of slots on which the source, in
the OFF state, transmits.
It follows that
Pt ,OFF = PON

T1
T

Supposing to transmit only on 5 of the 15 slots which compose the frame, it results T1 = 5 slots and

T = 15 slots, and it can be obtained


Pt ,OFF =

1
PON = PON
3

3.9 Computation of interference


The total interference, ITotal, measured near a generic MS, can be expressed as the sum of two
contributions, the former due to all the mobile stations connected to the same BS from which the
MS under examination receives, and the latter due to all the MS connected to the other base
stations. The former of the two contributions will be indicated as own-cell interference, Iintra,
whereas the latter as other-cell interference, Iinter.
Therefore, it results

I Total = I intra + I inter


The own-cell interference is due to the fact that the codes employed by one BS are not perfectly
orthogonal among each other, because of the multi-path propagation in the air interface; therefore,
users connected to a given base station interfere among each other. Indicating as:

Ptx, the total power transmitted by the BS towards all the users connected to it;
21

Chapter 3

Pr,i, the power received by a generic MSi connected;

Li and i, respectively the path loss and the shadowing between MSi and the BS;

the orthogonality factor;

The own-cell interference, measured by MSi, results

I intra,i = (1 ) Ptx i Pr ,i
Li

The other-cell interference, measured by MSi connected to BSi, is equal to


I inter,i = Ptx , j
j i

i, j
Li , j

where:

Ptx,j is the total power transmitted by BSj;

i,j and Li,j are, respectively, the shadowing and the attenuation between MSi and BSj.

3.10 Power Control


At the beginning of each frame (hence at a frequency of 100 Hz), for each downlink connection the
Power Control (PC) procedure computes the value of the SIR received by the MS. With such a
value, the procedure updates the power transmitted towards that MS, in order to reach the target
value of the SIR, SIRtarget. The correction factor, , with which the power transmitted varies, is
determined in the following way

SIRtarget
SIR

The PC command can vary the power at a rate of 1 dB per time slot. In our case, the control is
computed in each frame (1 frame = 15 time slots); therefore, it is possible to vary the power on the
channel in a range of 15 dB per frame. Hence, the correction factor is limited in the range
1
< < 31.62
31.62
corresponding to 15 dB.
The new power transmitted onto the downlink DPDCH channel is equal, therefore, to
Pnew = Pold

Assuming the same identical value for Eb/N0 both in the ON state and in the OFF one, it is possible
to work with a unique value of SIRtarget if the SIR for sources in the OFF state is evaluated through
the following relation
22

Chapter 3

SIR =

I intra

PON
+ I inter + PN

whereas, in computing Iintra and Iinter, sources in OFF have a transmitted power equal to PON .

3.11 Performance evaluation


In the present study, system performance is evaluated in terms of:

Average total power transmitted by each base station of the system;

Average number of connections managed by each base station of the system.

The traffic offered to the system is determined in order to have a preassigned block probability,
with a number Nmax of users in the system (CAC policy).
In accordance to what indicated by ETSI in [2], quality of communication is ensured so that the user
has a BER below 10-3, for a time superior to the 95% of the call duration. Moreover,
communication is dropped down if the user reveals a BER higher than the prefixed threshold for
more than 5 consecutive seconds.
For BER computation it is referred to the curve in Figure 3.6, obtained via a convolutional code
with rate R = 1/3 [13]. In Table 3.2 there are also reported the numerical values of the points of the
curve itself.
Eb/N0

BER

0.43983

0.3808

0.23655

0.080432

0.0098214

0.00060591

0.000029383

0.00000053824

Table 3.2 Bit error probability

23

Chapter 3

Figure 3.6 Curve of the convolutional code with a rate R = 1/3

For performance evaluation, frame by frame there are measured, for each base station, the total
power transmitted and the number of active connections towards users in the system. The results
obtained are averaged over the all duration of the simulation.

3.12 Output statistics


In the following there are reported the principal performance parameters measured by the system.
Statistics are registered after a transient time, during which the system reaches a steady state load.
Statistics are obtained for each base station of the system and, in the case of uniform load, the final
results are averaged over all the cells in order to increase the confidence and to attribute them to a
generic BS.
24

Chapter 3
The quantities in output to the simulator are the following one:

Average power transmitted;

Average number of connections managed;

Average distance of the users from the base station;

Distribution of the distance of the users in the cell;

Distribution of the power transmitted by the base station.

Moreover, it is possible to verify the quality requirements in terms of percentage of calls accepted,
percentage of calls refused, percentage of calls dropped down for quality.

3.13 Overall architecture of the simulator

For downlink performance computation, the simulator works on the basis of a frame with a duration
equal to 10 ms. The Call Admission Control (CAC) procedure works on the basis of a maximum
number, Nmax, of acceptable users inside every cell: if the number of users present in a cell is equal
to Nmax, the requests of new calls in that cell are refused.
The following operations are carried out:

Frame 1:
1. New calls are generated through a Poisson distribution with mean
calls/frame;
2. There are chosen the MSs to which the calls are associated, through a
uniform distribution inside the system;
3. It is evaluated if the system can or cannot accept every new call;
4. It is chosen the source state (ON/OFF) through a bernoullian distribution:
the average duration of the ON or OFF state is 3 s;
5. To each source in the ON state it is assigned an initial power of 3.16 mW.

Frame 2:
For each MS accepted (both in the ON state and in the OFF one) it proceeds
to the power control, computing the SIR through the relation
SIR =

Pr
PN

25

Chapter 3
where Pr is the power received and PN is the noise power.
From the comparison between the SIR computed and the SIRtarget, it is
determined the correction factor for the power transmitted. The correction
factor can vary in the range 15 dB.
In this frame the MSs, generated and accepted in Frame 1, are not yet
operative.
There are repeated the operations of Frame 1, relatively to the generation of
new calls.

Frame 3:

The MSs, generated and accepted in Frame 1, are declared operative.


The MSs, generated and accepted in Frame 2, confine themselves to adjust
their power without transmitting (for such sources the power transmitted is
null).
The power control is based on SIR computation, that is equal to
SIR =

Pr
I intra + I inter + PN

where Iintra is the intracell interference and Iinter the intercell one.
Moreover, it is evaluated the cell Load Factor due to the operative stations.
Finally, there are repeated the operations of Frame 1 relatively to the
generation of new calls.

Frame n:

It proceeds as for Frame 3.

On each frame time, on the basis of the value of the SIR computed, the Power Control procedure
provides to update the power transmitted towards the MSs in order to reach the prefixed target ratio
Eb/N0. Computed then the Eb/N0 ratio, through the curves of the convolutional code it is obtained
the BER of the frame received. At this point, there are updated the statistics relative to the quality of
the calls in act, in order to decide those one which can continue and those one which must, instead,
be dropped down. For each base station of the system, there are, hence, updated the statistics
relative to the total power transmitted, to the number of active connections, to the distance of the
users served and to the attenuation experienced by these latter. There are, moreover, determined the
distributions of the total power transmitted by the base stations and of the distance of the users
served.

26

Chapter 3

Simulation
Beginning

Frame
Beginning

Activation of
new calls

Interference
evaluation

Eb/N0
evaluation

BER
determination

NO

End of
Simulation

Determination
of calls to be
ended

End of
Frame

YES

Statistics
printing

Statistics
updating

Power
Control

Interference
evaluation

State
changing

End of
Simulation

Figure 3.7 Simulator functioning

Referring to a generic frame n of the simulation, the operations carried out follow the following
order:
1. Activation of the new calls accepted by the network;
2. Computation of the interference experienced by every mobile terminal;
3. Eb/N0 computation and BER determination;
4. Dropping down of calls with a BER over threshold for more than 5 seconds;
5. Ending of the users which have completed the call;
6. Change of state (ON-OFF) for the calls which have to do it;
7. Computation of the interference experimented by each MS in this new scenario;
8. Power Control procedure for the update of the powers transmitted towards the MSs;
9. Update of statistics.
In Figure 3.7 it is summarized the simulator functioning.
27

Chapter 3
In Table 3.3 there are summarized all the principal parameters used in simulations. During the
simulations, quality parameters have always been satisfied, so that in the following they will not be
mentioned anymore. At last, it is worthwhile to observe that all the parameters used can be changed
in order to obtain different scenarios.

28

Chapter 3

TOPOLOGY

1000

Inner cell radius [m]


Number of cells

16

Grid step [m]

50

Spatial distribution of traffic inside the cell

Unif.

SIMULATION PARAMETERS
Simulation time [s]

4800

Transient duration [s]

2000

RADIO CHANNEL
Thermal noise power [dBm]

-99

Lognormal shadowing std dev [dB]

10
Absent

Fast Fading
SPEECH SOURCE
Rate [kbps]

13.2

Average call duration [s]

120

Average duration of ON/OFF state [s]

Activity factor

0.5

Spreading factor

128

Rate of the DPDCH channel [kbps]

60

Convolutional code

1/3

POWER CONTROL
Frequency [Hz]

100

Maximum power variation per frame [dB]

15

Eb/N0 target [dB]

6.5

Initial power [dBm]

5
Table 3.3 Simulation parameters

29

Chapter 4

Chapter 4
Analysis of the WCDMA system in downlink and
testing of the simulator
4.1 Introduction
In this chapter there is evaluated system performance, in downlink direction, without implementing
the soft handover procedure. Performance is also evaluated with an analytical model, got out of
literature [1], so that it is possible to test the simulator proposed. Moreover, the results obtained in
this phase allow to understand the behaviour of the system and to make a reasonable choice of
system parameters for a relevant performance analysis.

4.2 Analytical computation of the average power transmitted


In a WCDMA system the (Eb/N0)j ratio, relative to the j-th user, can be expressed through the wellknown relation [1]

Eb

N0

Pj

= G j
I Pj
j

(4.1)

where:

Pj is the power received by the j-th user connected to one BS of the system;

Gj is the process gain for that user;

I is the wideband interference received by the user.


30

Chapter 4
By definition, the process gain Gj is equal to
Gj =

W
j Rj

(4.2)

with:

W, the chip rate;

j, the activity rate for the j-th user;

Rj, the rate of the service requested by that user.

From relation (4.1) it is possible to obtain the power received by a generic user. In fact, it results

(I P ) E
j

E
= G j Pj I b
N0 j
N0
b

= Pj
j

b + G j
N0

from which it follows relation (4.3)

Eb

I
N0 j
Pj =
Eb

+ G j
N0 j

(4.3)

which can be written in the following way

Pj =

Eb

N0

I
j

E
G j 1 + b
N0

1

j G j

Observing that in the system examined


Eb

N0

1

<< 1
j Gj

it can be obtained
Pj =

1
Gj

E
b
N0

I
j

(4.4)

The power Pt,j, transmitted by the BS towards its j-th user, results to be
Eb

N0 j
Pt , j = L j Pj = L j I
Gj

(4.5)

where Lj represents the attenuation between the base station and the mobile terminal; such an
attenuation, expressed in dB, can be computed through the following relation [1]
31

Chapter 4

Lj

dB

= 128.1 + 37.6 log10 (d j )

(4.6)

where dj represents the distance, measured in km, between the base station and the user.
The total power Pt, transmitted by one BS to which there are N users connected, results
N

Pt = Pt , j

(4.7)

j =1

Assuming for all the users the same value of Eb/N0 and the same process gain G, the average total
power Pt , transmitted by the base station towards the users connected to it, results
Pt = N L I

Eb 1

N0 G

(4.8)

where L is the average value of attenuation and I that one of interference.


On the basis of the well-known relation [1]

NR =

I
1
=
PN 1 DL

(4.9)

where PN is the thermal noise power and DL is the downlink load factor, relation (4.8) can be
written as
Pt = N L PN

1
1 DL

Eb 1

N0 G

(4.10)

where DL is the average downlink load factor.


Such a factor can be determined through the following relation [1]
N

1
j =1 G j

DL =

E
b
N0

[(1 ) + i ]
j

(4.11)

where:

is the orthogonal factor;

i is the average ratio between the intercell interference and the intracell one.

The factor takes into account the loss in orthogonality of the codes used by the same BS because
of multiple propagation, whereas the factor i includes the eventual presence of shadowing.
In Table 4.1 there are reported the values of the parameters used for the computation of the average
load factor DL and of the average power Pt, through relations (4.10) and (4.11). The parameter R
represents the service rate, inclusive of CRC and Tail bits, according to what described in Chapter
2.

32

Chapter 4

Eb/N0

6.5 dB

PN

-99 dBm

4.84 Mcps

14.2 kbps

0.67

0.6

Table 4.1 Parameter values

The values of the average power transmitted, as a function of the number of users present in the
cell, are reported in Figure 4.1 for different values of the parameter i .
Such a parameter influences the maximum number of users manageable by the BS, since it
determines the position of the vertical asymptote in the curve of the power. From Figure 4.1 it can
be deduced, moreover, that it is convenient to work in the linear zone of the curves, before the knee,
because beyond this point the power rapidly rises as the number of users served increases.

9000

8000

i=0.28
i=0.35
i=0.44
i=0.55

Average transmitted power [mW]

7000

6000

5000

4000

3000

2000

1000

0
0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

100

110

120

130

140

150

Nr. users/cell

Figure 4.1 Theoretical average power transmitted

33

Chapter 4

4.3 Analytical computation of the average distance and of the


average pathloss in a cell
Approximating the hexagonal cell with a circle of radius inscribed in it and supposing the users
distributed in an uniform manner inside the cell, the probability density of distances r from the
centre of the circle, where the BS is put, results to be
f (r ) =

2r

(4.12)

with r[0,].
The average value of the distance r from the BS results

E [r ] = r f (r ) dr =
0

2r 2

2 r3
dr

3 2
2

=
0

(4.13)

For the computation of the average pathloss, L , it is used relation (4.6) written in the following
way
g (r ) = r

(4.14)

with = 1012.81 and = 4.76 .


It follows

L = E [L ] = g (r ) f (r ) dr =
0

+1

dr =

( + 2 )
2

+1

=
0

+2

(4.15)

Substituting in (4.15) the values of and and using cells with radius = 1 km, it results:
LdB = 124.5 [dB].

4.4 Evaluation of the average power transmitted through


simulation
The principal parameters used in simulations are reported in Table 4.2.
At fist it will be computed the average power transmitted in absence of shadowing; subsequently, it
will be introduced a lognormal shadowing with a standard deviation of 10 dB.
There are taken into account two different policies:

34

Chapter 4

Cell radius [km]

1.0

Service rate [kbps]

12.2

Lognormal shadowing
Standard deviation

10

[dB]
Eb/N0 target [dB]

6.5

Table 4.2 Simulation parameters

1. The MS can connect itself only to the BS of the physical cell it belongs to;
2. The MS can connect itself to the BS of the system from which it receives the best signal;
such a BS, because of the presence of shadowing and pathloss, could not be that one of
the physical cell where the MS is.

4.4.1 Absence of shadowing

In Figure 4.2 it is represented the trend of the average total power transmitted by a BS towards the
users connected to it. Such a curve allows to test the validity of the simulator because it can be
compared with the analytical curves of Figure 4.1.
From such a comparison it is also possible to estimate the average value, i , of the ratio i between
the intercell interference and the intracell one. The value of i also depends on the system topology
and, therefore, its average value is often estimable only a posteriori. As already said in paragraph
4.2, the parameter i influences the cell capacity so that it can be interesting to estimate its trend
when the number of users present in the cell varies. Observing one cell of the system in subsequent
time instants, recording the number of present users and taking the mean of the value of the
parameter i which they experiment, it is obtained the trend for i illustrated in Figure 4.4.
By comparison between the curve obtained with the simulator and the analytical one, it is possible
to deduce that the former follows quite good the theoretical one evaluated with i = 0.35.
Since it is convenient to work in the linear zone of the theoretical curve, below the knee, in such a
condition each BS will be able to serve a number of users which oscillates between 70 and 80. In
fact, after such a value the curve tends to rise rapidly: the introduction of few new users would
require to the base station a high increase in the power to transmit.
35

Chapter 4

9000

8000

Simulative without shadowing


Analytical i=0.55

Average transmitted power [mW]

7000

Analytical i=0.28
Analytical i=0.44
Analytical i=0.35

6000

5000

4000

3000

2000

1000

0
0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

100

110

120

130

140

150

Average nr. of users/cell

Figure 4.2 Average power transmitted without shadowing

1
simulative

0,9

analytical
0,8

0,7

average i

0,6

0,5

0,4

0,3

0,2

0,1

0
0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

100

110

120

130

140

150

Average nr. of users/cell

Figure 4.3 Trend of the parameter i without shadowing

36

Chapter 4

1000
900
simulative
analytical

800
700

Distance [m]

600
500
400
300
200
100
0
0

20

40

60

80

100

120

140

Average nr. of users/cell

Figure 4.4 Average distance of the users

In Figure 4.3 it can be observed that the average value of the i parameter, measured by users,
oscillates around the value 0.35.
In Figure 4.4 it is reported the average distance of the users from the BS of the cell they belong to:
such a distance is equal to 2/3 of the inner radius of the cell, in agreement with the theoretical
results.

4.4.2 Presence of shadowing - Policy 1

Admitting the presence of a lognormal shadowing, with standard deviation equal to 10 dB, and
assuming that each MS can connect itself only to the BS of the physical cell it belongs to, the
average total power transmitted by the base station, as a function of the average number of users
active in the cell, has the trend shown in Figure 4.5.

37

Chapter 4

10000

9000
shadowing - politicy 1
without shadowing

Average transmitted power [mW]

8000

7000

6000

5000

4000

3000

2000

1000

0
0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

100

110

120

130

140

150

Average nr. of users/cell

Figure 4.5 Average power transmitted with shadowing policy 1

From the analysis of Figure 4.5 it can be noted how the capacity of the cell, and hence of the
system, expressed in terms of maximum number of acceptable users, decreases strongly respect to
the case without shadowing. In reality, instead, each user can connect itself to the BS from which it
receives the best signal, also if the latter, due to the presence of shadowing, is not that one of the
physical cell the user belongs to.

4.4.3 Presence of shadowing Policy 2

With the purpose to increase the system capacity, trying to compensate to the performance loss due
to shadowing, each mobile station connects itself to the BS from which it receives the best signal in
terms of pathloss and shadowing. This involves that the base station, to which the user connects
itself, could not coincide with that one of the physical cell where the user is; as a matter of fact,
hence, the effective dimensions of the cells extend beyond the physical one, increasing the
coverage.
38

Chapter 4

12000
shadowing - politicy 1
shadowing - politicy 2
without shadowing
analitycal i=0.55

11000
10000

Average transmitted power [mW]

9000
8000
7000
6000
5000
4000
3000
2000
1000
0
0

10

20

30

40

50

60
70
80
90
100
Average nr. of users/cell

110

120

130

140

150

Figure 4.6 Average power transmitted with shadowing policy 2

In Figure 4.6 it is represented the trend of the average total power, as a function of the number of
users connected to the BS. Such a trend is compared with that one obtained with policy 1 and with
that one without shadowing; it can be observed how, applying policy 2, system performance
improves with respect to those one obtained with policy 1. In the following it will be applied only
policy 2 because it is that one which reproduces in a better way the real behaviour of the system.
Moreover, by comparison with the analytical curves, it can be observed how the experimental curve
follows in a good way the theoretical one with i =0.55.
In deeds, estimating the parameter i , measured by the users in a cell, it can be observed how it
tends to oscillate around the value 0.55 (Figure 4.7).
By comparisons of the simulative data with the analytical curves of the average power transmitted
with and without shadowing, by the verification of the average distance of users in a cell without
shadowing and by estimations of the parameter i , it has been possible to test the validity of the
simulator employed.

39

Chapter 4

1
0,9

simulative
analitycal

0,8
0,7

Average i

0,6
0,5
0,4
0,3
0,2
0,1
0
0

20

40

60

80

100

120

Average nr. of users/cell

Figure 4.7 Trend of the parameter i with shadowing 10 dB

1200
1100
1000
900

Distance [m]

800
700
600
500
400

shadowing 10 dB
no shadowing

300
200
100
0
0

10

20

30

40

50
60
70
Average nr. of users/cell

80

90

100

110

Figure 4.8 Average distance of users with shadowing 10 dB

40

Chapter 4

10000

9000

Average transmitted power [mW]

shadowing 12 dB
8000

shadowing 10 dB
shadowing 7 dB

7000

no shadowing

6000

5000

4000

3000

2000

1000

0
0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

100

110

120

130

140

150

Average nr. of users/cell

Figure 4.9 Trend of the average total power transmitted

In Figure 4.8 it is, instead, reported the trend of the average distance of the users from the BS to
which they are connected. Comparing such a value with that one in absence of shadowing, it can be
observed how it is greater and, hence, the cell coverage increases. However, the presence of
shadowing leads to a reduction in the capacity of the system: by comparison with the curve obtained
in absence of shadowing (Figure 4.6), it can be deduced how the number of users that can be served
by a BS, in condition of stability (before the knee of the curves), decreases introducing the presence
of shadowing.

4.4.4 Dependence on shadowing

In order to evaluate the dependence of the average total power transmitted and of the average
distance of the users from the BS to which they are connected, as the value of the standard
deviation, , of the shadowing varies, there will be examined the cases for = 7, 10, 12 dB. In all
cases shadowing is assumed to be lognormal with null mean value.
41

Chapter 4

1800

1600

1400

Distance [m]

1200

1000

800

600

400

shadowing 12 dB
shadowing 10 dB
shadowing 7 dB
no shadowing

200

0
0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

100

110

Average nr. of users/cell

Figure 4.10 Trend of the average distance

In Figure 4.9 there are reported the trends of the average powers transmitted, whereas in Figure 4.10
it is reported the trend of the average distances of users from the base station to which they are
connected.
From the analysis of Figure 4.9, it can be deduced how the system capacity reduces as the standard
deviation of the shadowing increases.
From the analysis of Figure 4.10, it can be observed how performance with shadowing with = 7
dB is similar to that one without shadowing, whereas that one for = 12 dB is too much penalising.
In the following it will be, therefore, adopted a shadowing with standard deviation = 10 dB. Such
a value, moreover, is widely used in literature (e.g. in [1]).

4.5 Conclusions
In this chapter it has been conducted the performance analysis of a WCDMA system in the
downlink direction.
42

Chapter 4
The parameter taken into account is the average power transmitted by the base station, which can be
any one in the system, being uniform the load offered on all the cells.
There have been analysed two network scenarios: the first one takes into account only the signal
attenuation due to free space propagation, whereas the second one introduces the presence of
shadowing. As regards the latter scenario, there have been studied two different policies in order to
decide to which base station the user can connect itself:

Policy 1: the user can connect itself only to the BS of the physical cell it belongs to;

Policy 2: the user can connect itself to the BS from which it receives the strongest signal:
due to shadowing such a base station can not coincide with that one of the physical cell
the user belongs to. Such a situation is that one which mirrors better the real behaviour
of the system.

By comparison with the theoretical curves of the downlink capacity of a WCDMA system, it has
been possible to observe how the effect of shadowing can be included in the parameter i , which
represents the average ratio between the intercell interference and the intracell one. The more the
parameter i assumes low values, the more the system capacity increases. In fact, it has been
estimated that in absence of shadowing the trend of the average power, as the throughput varies, is
well described by the value of i = 0.35, whereas admitting a lognormal shadowing, with null mean
value and standard deviation = 10 dB, the value of i = 0.55 is more adequate.
Therefore, in absence of shadowing there has been obtained the best performance; admitting,
instead, the presence of shadowing according to policy 1, performance gets roughly worse since the
mobile terminal is not able to select the base station it receives better. This thing can be done
assuming policy 2, which gives different performance as the standard deviation of the shadowing
varies. In deeds, assuming = 7 dB it has been observed how the trend of the capacity is similar to
that one which is obtained in absence of shadowing, whereas for = 12 dB performance is falling;
for this reason it has been chosen to assume = 10 dB, as it widely happens in literature.
The results obtained are confirmed both by theoretical studies and by previous experimental
analysis, to confirm the validity of the simulator proposed.

43

Chapter 5

Chapter 5
Soft handover performance

5.1 Introduction
In cellular systems with a WCDMA access technique normally it is possible to work with a reuse
factor equal to 1, so that the signal, transmitted by a base station, can be received by any mobile
terminal which is inside the geographic zone where signals are received over a certain minimum
power threshold. In these systems, hence, it is possible for a mobile terminal to connect itself with
all those BSs from which it receives a sufficiently good signal. In such a case, it is said that the
mobile station works in macro diversity.
The condition to verify since a user can work in diversity is that power signals, measured in dBm,
differ from that one of the best serving base station not more than a certain preassigned value .
The set of such base stations forms the active set; each of such BSs transmits towards the user using
one DCH channel with relative code, whereas the mobile terminal transmits in uplink onto only one
DCH channel, which is heard by all the base stations.
Working in diversity allows to conclude successfully the handover procedure, so that in CDMA
systems it is possible to speak about soft handover. That justifies the fact the words diversity and
soft handover can be used as synonymous.
In downlink, each mobile terminal, which works in macro diversity, evaluates the total SIR (Signalto-Interference Ratio) received as a sum of the single SIRs received by each BS of the active set;
said NBS the number of elements which constitute the active set, it results
N BS

SIRTotal = SIRi
i =1

44

Chapter 5
The user, hence, compares the SIRTotal measured with the target value SIRtarget and sends only one
Power Control (PC) command to the BSs of the active set, to adjust power in order to reach the
SIRtarget.
In the following there will be compared two methods of Power Control:

With independent loops (LIN): the user compares each one of the SIRi received
(i=1,,NBS) with a fraction ki of the target value SIRtarget ( ki = 1) and it sends distinct
PC commands to the BSs of the active set, using in uplink NBS distinct DCH channels.
Therefore, each BS can vary its own transmission power towards the user in a way
independent on the other BSs. Such a method, not realizable in real systems, since in
uplink the mobile terminal uses only one DCH channel, allows to analyse with a wider
prospective the possibilities of the closed loop power control.

With one unique loop (LUN): the user compares the SIRTotal with the SIRtarget and it
sends one unique PC command to all the BSs of the active set, using in uplink only one
DCH channel, as it happens in a real system. In a such a way, all the BSs vary in the
same way their own transmission power towards that user.

Since all the users are supposed to be motionless and being the power, received from each BS,
evaluated in the initial phase on the CPICH pilot channel, a user, which is in the condition to work
in soft handover, remains in that state for all the call duration.
Moreover, having assumed the error probability on the PC commands to be null, it is ignored the
phenomenon of power drifting which, because of a different reading of the same PC command by
the BSs of the active set due to the eventual presence of errors on the radio interface, produces an
adjustment of the powers transmitted in opposite directions.
The soft handover procedure will be studied limiting, at first, the active set to only two base
stations; subsequently, it will be admitted the possibility, for the users which satisfy the conditions,
to work in macro diversity with three base stations.
The system will be, at first, loaded in a uniform manner, offering the same traffic to all the cells
which form it. Subsequently, users will be distributed in a not uniform manner, with the scope to
evaluate the performance of one cell in condition of overload when, through the macro diversity
procedure, it receives help from the other base stations of the system.

45

Chapter 5

5.2 Uniform load and active set composed by 2 base stations


When the system is loaded in a uniform way, all the cells work in the same conditions and results
can be referred to a generic base station, without having to choose one as a reference. The Call
Admission Control (CAC) procedure works according to the block scheme of Figure 5.1, where
Nmax is the maximum number of users per cell.

Call
birth

Association
to a reference
BS

Choice of
the best BS

Yes

Are there codes?

In the best cell


N < Nmax ?

No

Refusal for QoS

No

Refusal for
lack of codes

No

Refusal for
lack of power

Yes
Is there power?
Yes
Can the call be
realized in SH?

No

Accept
as normal

Yes
Accept in SH

Yes

Is there place
in the other BS

No

Figure 5.1 CAC procedure of a call in soft handover


46

Chapter 5

Every new call request is associated to a user placed in a cell of the system, chosen according to a
uniform distribution. It is, hence, determined the best serving BS, from which the MS receives the
strongest signal: due to shadowing, the best BS cannot coincide with that one of the physical cell
where the user is.
If there are yet Nmax users connected to the selected BS, the call is refused, otherwise it is evaluated
if there are yet available codes; if such a condition is not satisfied, the call is refused for lack of
codes, otherwise it is evaluated if the BS has yet available power to serve the new user: in positive
case the call is accepted, otherwise it is refused for lack of power.
If the call is accepted, it is determined if it can be managed in diversity. First of all, it must be
verified if the difference between the signal received from the best serving BS, which the user is
connected to, and that one received from the second best BS is less than the preassigned value of .
In positive case, it must be, further on, verified if the two base stations can accept the call in
diversity, both the BSs being able to accept a number of users in soft handover till the threshold
value NSH.
The user, whose call is managed in diversity, it is counted only in the best serving BS. Since each
base station of the active set activates a downlink DCH channel towards the user in soft handover,
in each cell there will be N1 active users and N2 active connections, with N2 N1; the difference
between N2 and N1 indicates how many the connections in soft handover are towards users counted
in base stations different from that one of the cell processed.

5.2.1 Estimate of the percentage of users in soft handover


In absence of shadowing, the attenuation of the signal, transmitted by a base station towards a user
of the system, is uniquely due to free space propagation. In such a case, every mobile terminal is
connected to the base station of the cell where it is, being such a BS the closest one. With such a
network scenario, it is possible to evaluate the percentage of users in soft handover in the system,
through purely geometric considerations. The results, obtained in an analytical way, allow to get a
further validation for the simulation model proposed.
In Figure 5.2 there is shown the topology taken into examination, where d is the distance of the MS
from the BS and R is the radius of the circumference inside the cell. The topologic situation has
period /3. Moreover, the symmetry for [-/6 , /6] allows to limit the study to the interval [0 ,
/6].
47

Chapter 5

C
Q

2R
d

A
A

B
2R

(a)

(b)
Figure 5.2 Reference topology

In absence of shadowing, the signal P1, received in Q from BSA, will be inversely proportional to
the pathloss L1 between points Q and A. In the same way, the signal P2, received in Q from BSB,
will be inversely proportional to the pathloss L2 between Q and B. It follows
=

P1 L2
=
P2 L1

and expressed in dB

= P1,dB P2,dB = L2,dB L1,dB

[dB]

Applying the formula reported in[1] for the pathloss, it results

L1,dB = 128.1 + 37.6 log10 ( AQ )


L2,dB = 128.1 + 37.6 log10 (BQ )
Hence, it can be obtained

BQ
BQ

= 37.6 log10
= 10 37.6
AQ
AQ

From Figure 5.2 it results

AQ = d ;
BQ =

(d sin )2 + (2 R d cos )2

= d 2 + 4 R 2 4 R d cos

so that
BQ
=
AQ

d 2 + 4 R 2 4 R d cos
= 10 37.6
d

48

Chapter 5

d0

pSH

[dB]

[km]

[%]

0.908

17.55

0.789

37.75

10

0.703

50.58

Table 5.1 Values of d0 and pSH

Resolving with respect to d, it can be obtained


1 10 2 37.6 d 2 4 R d cos + 4 R 2 = 0

and, taking only the positive solution, it results


2

2 R cos cos 2 ( ) 1 + 10 37.6

d=
2
1 10 37.6

In Table 5.1 there are reported the values d0 of d, for = 0 rad and R = 1 km, corresponding to
some values of .
Approximating, as shown in Figure 5.3, the area where users can work in soft handover, it possible
to obtain a superior limit to the percentage pSH of mobile terminals which can work in macro
diversity. Therefore, it results
p SH

A
d
= 1 noSH = 1 0
ACella
R

The values of pSH, obtained for different , are also reported in Table 5.1.

AnoSH
d0

Figure 5.3 Topology for the computation of pSH

49

Chapter 5

5.2.2 Simulation results with LIN method of Power Control without shadowing
With the LIN procedure of Power Control, commands are determined by the MS comparing
separately each one of the two SIR with a fraction of SIRtarget, having the sum of the two SIR to tend
to the target value. Indicating with SIR1,target the target value of the SIR1, received from the best
serving BS, and with SIR2,target that one of the SIR2, received from the second BS of the active set, it
must be valid the following relation
SIR1, target + SIR2, target = SIRtarget
where SIRtarget represents the target value of total SIR fixed for the MS.
Supposing to share the SIRtarget as
SIR1, target = (1 ) SIRtarget
SIR2, target = SIRtarget
0 1

the PC commands, 1 and 2, to give to the two BSs will be equal to

1 SIR1 = SIR1,target
2 SIR2 = SIR2, target
In downlink, the most significant performance parameter is constituted by the average power
transmitted. Moreover, it is also evaluated the average number of active connections for a generic
base station of the system as the percentage of connections managed in macro diversity varies. Such
a percentage is evaluated measuring in the average how many the connections, referred to users in
soft handover, are with respect to the average number of DCH channels active in each base station.
Indicating with U the average number of users belonging to a generic base station of the system, a
part USH of these one will work in soft handover. Being the load uniform and since the active set is
composed by no more than two BSs, every base station in the average will manage so many outer
connections how many its own inner users, which work in macro diversity, are. Therefore, the total
number of connections, Ntotal, managed by the base station, results equal to
N total = U + U SH
where 2USH are relative to users in macro diversity, whereas the remaining U USH are associated
to the terminals managed only by the BS processed.
The percentage of connections in soft handover per base station can be computed, hence, as
50

Chapter 5
Kind of load

Uniform

Shadowing

Absent

[dB]

3 7 - 10

Nmax [users/cell]

20 40 - 80

Block probability, pB

1%

Offered load, A0 [Erl/cell]

12 29 - 65

Eb/N0 target [dB]

6.5

BER

10-3

Power Control

LIN ( = 0.5)

Inner cell radius [km]

Table 5.2 Simulation parameters


2 U SH
N total

The values of the parameters used for simulations are scheduled in Table 5.2.
In Figure 5.4 it is reported the trend of the average power transmitted, as the percentage of
connections in soft handover varies, for different values of the parameter . From the results of the
simulations it is possible to establish how the study of the system is significant only for high values
of the traffic offered; in deeds, the average power transmitted remains almost constant for A0 = 12
Erl/cell and A0 = 29 Erl/cell, whereas with a load of 65 Erl/cell it can have a considerable increase,
mostly for high values of the parameter . Therefore, in the following the analysis will be
conducted using only the load of 65 Erl/cell.
In Figure 5.5 it is shown how the average number of connections active in each base station varies
when the percentage of those one in soft handover varies, for the three values of .
For equal to 3 dB, the real percentage of users which use the soft handover procedure does not
exceed the 20 %, according to the analytical evaluation given in Table 5.1.

51

Chapter 5

1200
65 Erl - 10 dB
1100

65 Erl - 7 dB
65 Erl - 3 dB

1000

29 Erl - 10 dB

Average transmitted power [mW]

900

29 Erl - 7 dB
29 Erl - 3 dB

800

12 Erl - 10 dB
700

12 Erl - 7 dB
12 Erl - 3 dB

600
500
400
300
200
100
0
0

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

50

Percentage of connections in SH

Figure 5.4 Average power transmitted in absence of shadowing, with LIN PC ( = 0.5)

120
10 dB

110

7 dB
100

3 dB

Average nr.of connections

90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
0

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

50

Percentage of connectionsi in SH

Figure 5.5 Average number of active connections per cell in absence of shadowing, with A0 = 65

Erl/cell and LIN PC ( = 0.5)


52

Chapter 5

1200
1100
1000

Average transmitted power [mW]

900
800
700
600
500
400
300
200
100
0
0

0,1

0,2

0,3

0,4

0,5

0,6

0,7

0,8

Figure 5.6 Average power transmitted in absence of shadowing, with A0 = 65 Erl/cell, LIN PC and

= 3 dB
In Figure 5.5, moreover, it can be observed how the average number of connections active in each
base station becomes greater when the percentage of connections in soft handover increases,
independently on the value of . However, to the increasing of this last parameter, the percentage of
users, which can work in macro diversity, becomes greater, pointing out an increase of the
geographic zone where it is possible to apply the soft handover procedure.
On the basis of the simulative results obtained, in the following, beyond the value of = 3 dB
normally considered, it will be also used the value of = 10 dB, in order to evaluate in a better way
situations when the application of the soft handover procedure can result more critical.
In the simulations considered till now, the SIRtarget has been divided in an equal manner ( = 0.5)
between each couple of downlink connections. It could be interesting to evaluate how it varies the
average total power transmitted to the varying of the above-mentioned repartition.
In Figure 5.6 it is reported such a trend when it is assumed = 3 dB and a real percentage of user in
soft handover equal to 16 %. The parameter has been varied between the values 0 (absence of soft
handover) and 0.75.
53

Chapter 5

1000

900

800

Average distance [m

700

600

500

400

300

200

100

0
0

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

50

Percentage of connections in SH

Figure 5.7 Average distance of the users served by a generic BS of the system, in absence of

shadowing with A0 = 65 Erl/cell, LIN PC and = 10 dB


Figure 5.6 shows how the average power tends to increase when it is given more and more weight
to the second base station of the active set, i.e. that one from which the user does not receive the
best signal. Moreover, it has been observed that allowing the user to be managed only by that base
station ( = 1), the system capacity is strongly reduced since the power required, to reach the target
value of the SIR, is extremely high so that the system is not able to manage other users.
Finally, it could be interesting to note how, because of the soft handover procedure, the base
stations of the system set connections with users outside the physical cell of their competence.
Therefore, in Figure 5.7 it is reported the trend of the average distance of the users served by a
generic base station of the system when the real percentage of users in soft handover varies, with
= 10 dB and A0 = 65 Erl/cell.
The average distance of the users rises linearly to the increasing of the real number of connections
managed in macro diversity. Without soft handover, the users have an average distance from the
best serving base station equal to 2/3 of the cell radius, i.e. 667 m for a cell with an inner radius R =
1 km. To have to serve users outside the cell leads to an increase of the power transmitted by the BS
in order to face the greater attenuation experimented.
54

Chapter 5
The results obtained have allowed to establish how, in presence of uniform load, the soft handover
procedure lets increase the average total power transmitted by every base station of the system,
since each of them has to manage a greater number of connections and, in an average, farther users.
Moreover, to the increasing of the parameter , the percentage of users that can work in macro
diversity can increase strongly.
In the following of the analysis, to the system it will be offered a uniform load of 65 Erl/cell, letting
the parameter assume the values of 3 and 10 dB.

5.2.3 Simulation results with LIN method of Power Control in presence of


shadowing
The presence of shadowing makes it possible that a user can choose as best serving a base station
different from that one of the physical cell it belongs to, having in this way an increase of the real
coverage of each cell. However, because of the greater distance where the user can be, this will
result, in general, in an increase of the average power transmitted by the various base stations, with
a relative reduction of the capacity of the system itself.
The values of the parameters, used in simulations for the study of this scenario, are summarized in
Table 5.3.
In an analogous way as done in the previous paragraph, there will be evaluated the average power
transmitted by a generic base station of the system and the average number of downlink active
connections, to the varying of the percentage of users working in macro diversity.
In Figure 5.8 there are represented the curves of the average power transmitted, as the percentage of
users in soft handover varies, for = 3 dB and for different values of the parameter , which
indicates the weight that is given to the second BS of the active set.

55

Chapter 5

Uniform

Kind of load

Lognormal

Shadowing

( = 0; = 10 dB)

[dB]

3 10

Nmax [users/cell]

80

Block probability, pB

1%

Offered traffic, A0 [Erl/cell]

65

Eb/N0 target [dB]

6.5

BER

10-3

Power Control

LIN

0.25 0.5 0.75

Inner cell radius [km]

Table 5.3 Simulation parameters

1200
= 0.75

1100

= 0.5
1000

= 0.25

Average transmitted power [mW]

900
800
700
600
500
400
300
200
100
0
0

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

50

Percentage of connections in SH

Figure 5.8 Average power transmitted in presence of shadowing, with A0 = 65 Erl/cell, LIN PC

and = 3 dB
56

Chapter 5

1200
= 0.75

1100

= 0.5
= 0.25

1000

Average transmitted power [mW]

900
800
700
600
500
400
300
200
100
0
0

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

50

Percentage of connections in SH

Figure 5.9 Average power transmitted in presence of shadowing, with A0 = 65 Erl/cell, LIN PC

and = 10 dB
Figure 5.8 shows how, to the increasing of the percentage of users working in macro diversity, the
total power transmitted rises, as it was already observed in absence of shadowing (Figure 5.4).
When the weight given to the second BS of the active set becomes greater and greater, the trend of
the average power rises; this is due principally to the greater attenuation, computed as sum of
pathloss and shadowing, experimented between such a base station and the user.
Moreover, the maximum percentage of users which can work in macro diversity, results
considerably greater with respect to the scenario without shadowing; in fact, due to shadowing, the
coverage goes beyond the cell boundaries and a greater number of users can satisfy the conditions
to apply soft handover.
Increasing the parameter to 10 dB (Figure 5.9), the average total power transmitted rises
considerably, both to the increasing of the percentage of users in soft handover and to the increasing
of the parameter .
Comparing Figures 5.8 and 5.9, it can be seen how with = 10 dB and with values of greater than
0.25, the power tends to diverge to the increasing of the percentage of connections in macro
57

Chapter 5

100
10 dB

90

3 dB
80

Average nr. of connections

70

60

50

40

30

20

10

0
0

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

50

Percentage of connections in SH

Figure 5.10 Active connections in presence of shadowing, with A0 = 65 Erl/cell and LIN PC

diversity, whereas with = 3 dB this situation of congestion appears much more slowly. This result
suggests a certain caution in the choice of the parameter for real applications.
In Figure 5.10 there are reported, finally, the curves of the average number of connections to the
varying of the percentage of connections in soft handover, for two different values of the parameter
. Such curves are independent on the value assumed by the parameter . The average number of
active connections is the same for both the values of ; however, for = 10 dB it is possible to
obtain greater percentages of users in macro diversity.
In this paragraph has been illustrated how the value of the average power transmitted is strongly
sensible to the repartition of the SIRtarget between the two downlink connections when the soft
handover procedure is applied. Such an effect is particularly notable for great values of the
parameter , so that the power tends to diverge when it is given greater weight to the second BS of
the active set, also with low percentages of users working in macro diversity. Moreover, the
presence of shadowing influences the maximum number of mobile terminals which can work in soft
handover under the control of a base station.

58

Chapter 5

5.2.4 Simulation results with LUN method of Power Control in presence of


shadowing
In real systems the Power Control procedure works through a unique loop (LUN method). Every
mobile terminal sets a unique uplink DCH channel; it can, hence, send a unique PC command to all
the base stations it is connected to. Such a command is determined comparing the total SIR received
at the mobile terminal with the target value established for that service, through the following
relation

(SIR1 + SIR2 ) = SIRtarget


where SIR1 and SIR2 are the values of SIR measured by the user onto the two downlink
connections.
All the base stations of the active set, consequently, vary of the same quantity the power transmitted
towards that user, since all of them receive the same command, having supposed to be null the
probability of error on such commands.
The simulation parameters are scheduled in Table 5.4.

Kind of load
Shadowing

Uniform
Lognormal
( = 0; = 10 dB)

[dB]

3 10

Nmax [users/cell]

80

Block probability, pB

1%

Offered traffic, A0 [Erl/cell]

65

Eb/N0 target [dB]

6.5

BER

10-3

Power Control

LUN

Inner cell radius [km]

Table 5.4 Simulation parameters

59

Chapter 5

1200
1100

10 dB

1000

3 dB

Average transmitted power [mW]

900
800
700
600
500
400
300
200
100
0
0

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

50

Percentage of connections in SH

Figure 5.11 Average power transmitted in presence of shadowing, with A0 = 65 Erl/cell and LUN

PC

In Figure 5.11 it is reported the trend of the total power transmitted as a function of the real
percentage of users in soft handover, to the varying of the parameter . Also in this case, there are
registered increases of power as the number of users allowed to work in macro diversity rises; such
increases result to be greater when is equal to 10 dB.
In Figure 5.12 it is done a comparison between the curve of the total power transmitted, obtained
adopting the LUN method, and the curves obtained using the LIN method for = 3 dB.
In Figure 5.13 it is done the same comparison for = 10 dB.

60

Chapter 5

1200
1100

= 0.75

1000

= 0.5
LUN

Average transmitted power [mW]

900

= 0.25

800
700
600
500
400
300
200
100
0
0

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

50

Percentage of connections in SH

Figure 5.12 Average power transmitted Comparison LIN / LUN PC with A0 = 65 Erl/cell and

= 3 dB

Figure 5.12 shows how the LUN Power Control procedure gives greater weight to the base station
from which the user receives the best signal; the repartition of SIRtarget results to be done with a
value of included between 0.25 and 0.5.
Figure 5.13 confirms that also in this case it is given greater weight to the base station identified as
best serving when soft handover is applied; in particular, the repartition of SIRtarget results to be
done with a value of less than 0.25.

61

Chapter 5

1200
1100
1000

Average transmitted power [mW]

900
800
700
600
500
400

= 0.75

300

= 0.5

200

= 0.25
LUN

100
0
0

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

50

Percentage of connections in SH

Figure 5.13 Average power transmitted Comparison LIN / LUN PC with A0 = 65 Erl/cell

and =10 dB

100
10 dB

90

3 dB
80

Average nr. of connections

70

60

50

40

30

20

10

0
0

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

50

Percentage of connections in SH

Figure 5.14 Active connections in presence of shadowing, with A0 = 65 Erl/cell and LUN PC

62

Chapter 5

In conclusion, applying the LUN method for Power Control, the system tends to give more load to
the base station which the user belongs to; the entity of such an increase is determined by the value
of the parameter , to whose increasing ( = 10 dB) it is possible to work with a lower but with a
power up to 40 % greater with respect to the case when macro diversity is not applied.
The results obtained from simulation indicate that, on principle, it is possible to find methods in
order to reduce the average power transmitted, increasing the weight given to the best serving base
station when macro diversity is applied; that can be convenient especially when assumes low
values (3 dB), since the weight given to the second BS of the active set is relevant (0.25 < < 0.5).
Finally, in Figure 5.14 there are reported, for the two different values of the parameter , the trends
of the average number of active connections to the varying of the percentage of those one relative to
users which work in macro diversity. Such trends are the same of those one observed in the
previous paragraph, to confirm the fact that the two Power Control procedures influence uniquely
the weight given to the two base stations of the active set when soft handover is applied, leaving
unvaried the number of users which can work in macro diversity.

5.3 Uniform load and active set composed also by 3 base


stations
When the active set is extended to three, a user can receive at the same time from two or three base
stations of the system. In order to determine if a mobile terminal can work in macro diversity and
with how many base stations, it is possible to proceed in the following way:
1. It is determined the optimal base station from which the user receives the best signal and
it is established if the call can be accepted;
2. If the call is accepted, it is evaluated if it can be done in soft handover, verifying that the
number of users in that station, yet working in diversity, is less than the maximum fixed
threshold;
3. If the call can be accepted in soft handover, it is evaluated if there is a second station
from which the user receives a signal not higher than with respect to that one of the
optimal base station;

63

Chapter 5
4. If such a station is found, it is repeated point 3 to see if exists a third one which satisfies
the same characteristics;
5. It is determined, hence, if the stations, found at points 3 and 4, can accept the user,
verifying that in each BS the number of terminals yet in soft handover is not over the
maximum threshold.
Therefore, there will be users which dont work in soft handover, others which do it with two base
stations and others which do it with three.
The soft handover procedure with NBS = 3 is shown in Figure 5.15.
Simulations have been done using the parameters summarized in Table 5.5.

Kind of load
Shadowing

Uniform
Lognormal
( = 0; = 10 dB)

[dB]

3 10

Nmax [users/cell]

80

Block probability, pB

1%

Offered traffic, A0 [Erl/cell]

65

Eb/N0 target [dB]

6.5

BER

10-3

Power Control

LUN

Inner cell radius [km]

Table 5.5 Simulation parameters

64

Chapter 5

Call
birth

Choice of the
best serving BS

Can the call


be accepted ?

No

Refusal

Yes
Can it be
accepted in SH?
Accept
as normal

Yes
Is there a
second BS?
Yes
No

Accept in SH
with 2 BS
From only one

Is there a
third BS?
Yes
Can the call be
accepted in SH?

No

From both of them


Accept in SH
with 3 BS

Figure 5.15 Procedure to determine the dimensions of the active set

For the computation of the average number of connections active in each base station it is possible
to proceed in the following way. Being all uniform, on the average all the BSs have the same
behaviour. Hence, for every user which works in diversity with only another base station, the BS
will manage one inner connection and one outer, whereas for every user which works with other
two base stations the BS will manage one inner connection and two outer one.
Referring all to a generic cell of the system, said N the average number of present users and the
percentage of those one which work in diversity, the average number of mobile terminals in soft
handover, NS, results
65

Chapter 5
NS = N
In the case when the active set is formed only by two base stations, the number of inner connections
in soft handover, NS,i, will be equal to that one of outer connections in soft handover, NS,e, and equal
to

N S ,i = N S , e =

1
NS
2

Hence, every base station will have to set NS,e new connections and the average number of active
DCH channels, NTot,2, will be equal to
N Tot , 2 = N + N S ,e
In the case when the active set is formed also by 3 base stations, if a fraction of the users in soft
handover works with 2 BS, whereas the remaining 1 - with 3, it results
N S ,2 = N S
N S ,3 = (1 ) N S
where NS,2 is the number of calls managed in diversity with 2 BSs, whereas NS,3 is the number of
those one managed with 3.
The inner and outer connections in the first case will be
N S ,i , 2 = N S , e , 2 =

1
N S ,2
2

whereas in the second case they will be

N S ,i , 3 =

1
N S ,3
3

N S ,e , 3 =

2
N S ,3
3

Therefore, every base station will have to use an average number of DCH channels equal to
N Tot ,3 = N + N S ,e, 2 + N S ,e ,3
In Figure 5.16 it is shown the increase in the average number of active connections as a function of
the percentage of connections in soft handover, with = 3 dB and = 10 dB. The two curves
present some modest differences.

66

Chapter 5

100

90

80

Average nr. of connections

70

60
N = 3 - 10 dB
50

N = 3 - 3 dB

40

30

20

10

0
0

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

50

Percentage of connections in SH

Figure 5.16 Average number of active connections with LUN PC and active set composed also by

3 BS

100

90

80

Kind of SH [%]

70

60
SH with 2 BSs - 3 dB

50

SH with 3 BSs - 3 dB
40

30

20

10

0
0

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

50

Percentage of connections in SH

Figure 5.17 Percentages of users in SH with 2 and 3 BS, with LUN PC and = 3 dB

67

Chapter 5

100

90
SH with 3 BSs - 10 dB

80

SH with 2 BSs - 10 dB

Kind of SH [%]

70

60

50

40

30

20

10

0
0

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

50

Percentage of connections in SH

Figure 5.18 Percentages of users in SH with 2 and 3 BS, with LUN PC and = 10 dB

In Figures 5.17 and 5.18 there are reported the percentages of the connections in soft handover with
two base stations and with three base stations, respectively for = 3 dB and for = 10 dB. In both
cases the percentages result to be constant to the varying of the percentage of connections in soft
handover; for = 3 dB, the 76 % of the users managed in macro diversity works with two base
stations, whereas the remaining 24 % with three; for = 10 dB, the percentages are, respectively,
40 and 60 %. Such values, obtained with simulations, can be also verified using the relations given
in this paragraph for the computation of the average number of active connections, through the
results reported in Figure 5.16.
In Figure 5.19 there are reported, for two values of , the trends of the average power transmitted to
the varying of the percentage of connections associated to users in soft handover. In the case when
the active set is composed also by three base stations, the comparison between the average powers
transmitted results to be more complex because the weight given to the different connections can be
different according to how soft handover is carried out.
In Figure 5.19 the trend of the average power transmitted for = 10 dB results to be below that one
for = 3 dB, also if the difference is notable only for high percentages of connections in soft
handover.

68

Chapter 5

1200
1100

N = 3 - LUN PC - 3 dB

1000

N = 3 - LUN PC - 10 dB

Average transmitted power [mW]

900
800
700
600
500
400
300
200
100
0
0

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

50

Percentage of connections in SH

Figure 5.19 Average power transmitted with LUN PC and active set composed also by 3 BSs

In Figure 5.20 there are compared the curves of the average powers transmitted, reported in Figure
5.19, with those one obtained limiting the active set to only two base stations.
According to how much weight is given to each station of the active set in order to reach the target
value of the SIR, the total power transmitted consequently varies.
In the case of only two BSs, the average total power transmitted rises to the increasing of the value
of the parameter .

69

Chapter 5

1200
1100
1000

Average transmitted power [mW]

900
800
700
600
500
N = 2 - 10 dB

400

N = 3 - 3 dB

300

N = 2 - 3 dB
200

N=3 - 10 dB

100
0
0

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

50

Percentage of connections in SH

Figure 5.20 Comparisons between the average powers transmitted

Extending the active set to three stations, it is not a surprise if the average power transmitted
decreases at the increasing of the parameter , because of the different weights that are given to the
BSs in the realisation of macro diversity. For the same = 3 dB, it is required less power with
active set equal to two, whereas for the same = 10 dB, it is required less power with active set
equal to three.
In the first case ( = 3 dB) it prevails the contribute of the optimal base station with NBS = 2,
whereas in the second case ( = 10 dB) prevails the contribute of the optimal base station with NBS
= 3.
In every case, it is not simple to find conclusions of general validity about the system performance,
between when the active set has dimensions equal to two and when it is extended to three, since the
various trends differ just a bit one from each other, they are very sensible to the choice of
parameters and to the system geometry with its own initial conditions.

70

Chapter 5

Figure 5.21 Topology for the unbalanced traffic

5.4 Not uniform load


In the analysis of the soft handover procedure, it is interesting to observe the system behaviour
when the traffic offered is particularly high in one of the cells.
With uniform load, when the soft handover procedure is applied, each base station receives, in the
average, an help equal to that one it offers to the other BSs of the system; unbalancing the load, the
more loaded stations will have, in proportion, a greater number of inner users in macro diversity,
receiving from the neighbouring cells a help greater than that one they offer outside.
In the model taken into account for simulations, it has been supposed to increase the number of
users only in one cell of the system, taken as a reference, leaving the other 15 one less loaded; the
users in each cell are always distributed in a uniform manner. The unsettling of the load leads to a
traffic Amax, offered in the reference cell, and a traffic Amin, offered in each one of the other cells of
the system. Therefore, the total traffic offered to the system, AO, results to be
AO = Amax + 15Amin
71

Chapter 5
As soon as a new call is generated in the system, it is drawn a bernoullian variable p in order to
decide if the call has to be drawn in a uniform manner in the reference cell or in the whole system.
Hence, the following relations are valid
p AO + (1 p )

(1 p )

AO
= Amax
16

AO
= Amin
16

Once assigned Amax and Amin, AO and p results to be univocally determined.


In the following, the soft handover procedure is applied in such a way that only the users of the
most loaded cell can be managed in macro diversity; according to such a scenario, the most loaded
cell can only receive help from the neighbouring BSs.
At first, it is supposed to work without shadowing, in order to be able to localise exactly the
mobiles inside the cells. Subsequently, shadowing is introduced, supposed, as previously, with a
lognormal distribution with null mean value and standard deviation equal to 10 dB. In such a
case, some of the users, belonging to the most loaded cell, will be able to hear as optimal a base
station situated in one of the adjacent cells, obtaining so a partial redistribution of the traffic. In
Figure 5.21 it is shown the reference 4 x 4 cellular topology with not uniform load, where the height
of each cell gives a measure of how the traffic is unbalanced. The cells adjacent to the reference one
will be those one which interact mostly with the most loaded base station.

5.4.1 Scenario without shadowing and with active set composed by 2 base
stations
With the purpose of analysing the effect of the contribute which the most loaded base station
receives from the surrounding one in the management of the users which are physically in the cell
of its own competence, it is excluded the presence of shadowing. In this paragraph the active set of
the users in macro diversity is limited to two base stations. The cell number 3 is that one which has
to manage the maximum load.
Performance analysis is done studying in each base station of the system how the average power
transmitted and the average number of active connections vary to the increasing of the percentage
of the users which can work in macro diversity in the reference BS. The percentage of users in soft
handover is determined setting a maximum threshold to the number of connections
72

Chapter 5

Kind of load

Not uniform

Shadowing

Absent

[dB]

Reference BS

Amax [Erl/cell]

120

Amin [Erl/cell]

70

Nmax [users/cell]

120

Eb/N0 target [dB]

6.5

BER

10-3

Power Control

LUN

Inner cell radius [km]

Table 5.6 Simulation parameters

which can be managed in macro diversity and measuring, at the end of simulation, the percentage of
users, SH, in the most loaded base station really served in soft handover, with respect to the total
number of users served in the cell.
In Table 5.6 there are scheduled the values of the principal parameters used in simulations.
Figure 5.22 shows how the average power, transmitted by each base station of the system, varies in
two situations: with users without macro diversity and with a percentage (9 %) of users allowed to
work in soft handover. As it can be observed, in the most loaded base station it is registered a
saving of the average total power transmitted of 8 % with respect to the case when soft handover is
not allowed. Such a result is obtained at the expense of an increase of the average power (almost 5
%) transmitted by the base stations involved in the macro diversity procedure, which have to serve
farther users.

73

Chapter 5

1500
1400

SH 0 %

1300

SH 9 %

1200

Average transmitted power [mW]

1100
1000
900
800
700
600
500
400
300
200
100
0
0

10

11

12

13

14

15

BS identificator

Figure 5.22 Average power transmitted without shadowing and with active set composed by 2 BSs

The average powers of the farther cells are slightly increased with respect to the scenario without
soft handover, since such cells are not able to help the most loaded base station, but they experiment
just a slight increase in the intercell interference.
Figure 5.23 shows, instead, the probability density of the total power transmitted by the reference
BS in the two situations taken into account. In presence of soft handover, the most loaded base
station works on lower power levels, with respect to when it has to manage by itself its own users.
Moreover, the dispersion of the power values results to be more limited.
Finally, Figure 5.24 shows the number of connections managed by the reference cell and by the
adjacent cells with and without soft handover. In the reference cell, the number of connections does
not rise when it is admitted the presence of soft handover, since the base station does not manage
users outside the cell of its own competence.

74

Chapter 5

0,05
SH 0 %

0,045

SH 9 %
0,04

0,035

PDF

0,03

0,025

0,02

0,015

0,01

0,005

1960

1900

1840

1780

1720

1660

1600

1540

1480

1420

1360

1300

1240

1180

1120

1060

940

1000

880

820

760

700

640

580

520

460

400

340

280

220

160

100

Transmitted power [mW]

Figure 5.23 PDF of the total power transmitted by the most loaded BS without shadowing and

with active set composed by 2 BSs

140
130

SH 0 %

120

SH 9 %

110

Average nr. of connectionsi

100
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
0

10

11

12

13

14

15

BS identificator

Figure 5.24 Average number of connections active in each cell without shadowing and with active

set composed by 2 BSs


75

Chapter 5

1500
1400

SH 0 %
SH 9 %

1300

SH 30 %

1200

Average transmitted power [mW]

1100
1000
900
800
700
600
500
400
300
200
100
0
0

10

11

12

13

14

15

BS identificator

Figure 5.25 Average power transmitted without shadowing and with active set composed also by 3

BSs

5.4.2 Scenario without shadowing and with active set composed also by 3 base
stations
The simulation results have been obtained also for the scenario where the users of the most loaded
cell can work in macro diversity with three base stations (number of base stations in the active set
equal to three). The parameters used in simulations are reported in Table 5.6.
Figure 5.25 shows the trend of the average power transmitted by each base station of the system to
the varying of the percentage of users managed in soft handover in the reference cell.
With respect to the case analysed in the previous paragraph, performance in the most loaded base
station improves less, since the reduction in power (almost 8 %), obtained previously with 9 % of
the users in soft handover, now it is obtained with almost 30 %. That is due to the different weight
which is given to the base stations of the active set when soft handover is done: in such a case, in
fact, the helping base stations give a minor contribute to the reaching of SIRtarget. Naturally,
76

Chapter 5

0,05
SH 0 %
SH 9 %

0,045

SH 30 %
0,04

0,035

PDF

0,03

0,025

0,02

0,015

0,01

0,005

1960

1900

1840

1780

1720

1660

1600

1540

1480

1420

1360

1300

1240

1180

1120

1060

940

1000

880

820

760

700

640

580

520

460

400

340

280

220

160

100

Transmitted power [mW]

Figure 5.26 PDF of the total power transmitted by the most loaded BS without shadowing and

with active set composed also by 3 BSs

to the increasing of the percentage of users in soft handover, the power, transmitted by the base
stations of the active set, rises in a not negligible manner.
Figure 5.26 reports the trends of the probability density of the total power transmitted by the most
loaded base station. The BS works on slightly lower power levels, with respect to the case without
soft handover, when the percentage of its own users in macro diversity is 9 %; increasing such a
percentage to 30 %, it is possible to work with power levels slightly lower. The dispersion of the
power values, instead, is almost unchanged.
Admitting three base stations in the active set, the consumption of resources, in terms of downlink
radio channels used, rises. In fact, as Figure 5.27 shows, the average number of connections active
in the base stations, which offer help, rises, in the average, up to 12 %, with respect to the case
when soft handover is not allowed.

77

Chapter 5

140
SH 0 %

130

SH 9 %
SH 30 %

120
110

Average nr. of connections

100
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
0

10

11

12

13

14

15

BS identificator

Figure 5.27 Average number of connections active in each cell without shadowing and with active

set composed also by 3 BSs

5.4.3 Scenario with shadowing and with active set composed by 2 base stations
The scenario in presence of shadowing is the most realistic one. Simulations have been conducted
using the parameters of Table 5.7.
Figure 5.28 shows the trend of the average power transmitted by the base stations of the system to
the varying of the percentage of users in soft handover in the reference cell. As it was already
observed in Chapter 4, the introduction of shadowing leads to an increase in coverage, with a
relevant increase in the average power transmitted by the base stations of the system (such a power
increase is in the average of 55 %), with respect to the scenario without shadowing.
With such a scenario, however, macro diversity leads to a significant reduction (in the average up to
29 %, with 21 % of users in soft handover) of the power transmitted by the most loaded BS; the
saving in power results to be particularly high, yet with low percentages of users in soft handover.
Also the farthest cells from the reference base station can sometimes take part in the active set of

78

Chapter 5

1500
1400
SH 0 %

1300

SH 12 %
SH 21 %

1200

Average transmitted power [mW]

1100
1000
900
800
700
600
500
400
300
200
100
0
0

10

11

12

13

14

15

BS identificator

Figure 5.28 Average power transmitted with shadowing and with active set composed by 2 BSs

some call and, therefore, they can offer help to the most loaded cell: in such a case the power
transmitted rises not only for the effect of the increase in radio interference.
Figure 5.29 shows how the probability density of the power, transmitted by the reference base
station, varies. In absence of soft handover, the dispersion of the power levels results to be relevant
because of shadowing. Introducing the soft handover procedure, it is possible to obtain a more
steady behaviour for the most loaded base station, reducing considerably the dispersion of the
values of the total power transmitted.

79

Chapter 5

Not uniform

Kind of load

Lognormal

Shadowing

( = 0, = 10 dB)

[dB]

Reference BS

Amax [Erl/cell]

120

Amin [Erl/cell]

70

Nmax [users/cell]

120

Eb/N0 target [dB]

6.5

BER

10-3

Power Control

LUN

Inner cell radius [km]

Table 5.7 Simulations parameters

0,05
SH 0 %
SH 12 %
SH 21 %

0,045

0,04

0,035

PDF

0,03

0,025

0,02

0,015

0,01

0,005

2160

2100

2040

1980

1920

1860

1800

1740

1680

1620

1560

1500

1440

1380

1320

1260

1200

1140

1080

960

1020

900

840

780

720

660

600

540

480

420

360

300

Transmitted power [mW]

Figure 5.29 PDF of the total power transmitted by the most loaded BS with shadowing and with

active set composed by 2 BSs


80

Chapter 5

140
130

SH 0 %
SH 12 %

120

SH 21 %

110

Average nr. of connections

100
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
0

10

11

12

13

14

15

BS identificator

Figure 5.30 Average number of connections active in each cell with shadowing and with active set

composed by 2 BSs

Finally, Figure 5.30 shows the trend of the number of connections active in each base station of the
system to the varying of the percentage of users in soft handover in the reference cell. As it is
possible to observe, also in someone of the farthest cells from the reference one it is registered an
increase in the connections managed due to macro diversity. There are registered increases in the
number of connections of 5 % for the cells close to the reference one and of 1 % for the farthest
ones.

81

Chapter 5

1500
1400

SH 0 %

1300

SH 8 %

1200

SH 24 %

Average transmitted power [mW]

1100
1000
900
800
700
600
500
400
300
200
100
0
0

10

11

12

13

14

15

BS identificator

Figure 5.31 Average power transmitted with shadowing and with active set composed also by 3

BSs

5.4.4 Scenario with shadowing and with active set composed also by 3 base
stations
In order to complete the performance analysis with unbalanced load and in presence of shadowing,
the maximum dimension of the active set is finally extended to three. The principal parameters used
in simulations are scheduled in Table 5.7.
Figure 5.31 shows the trend of the average total power transmitted by the base stations of the
system with and without the soft handover procedure. As it can be seen, in such a case macro
diversity does not produce any saving for the power transmitted by the most loaded base station; on
the contrary, in presence of a high percentage of users in soft handover, it is registered a slightly
increase of the power transmitted. That is due to the fact that, in doing the soft handover procedure
with three base stations, the reference cell continues to contribute almost totally to the reaching of
SIRtarget, in an slightly more interfered environment.
82

Chapter 5

0,05
SH 0 %

0,045

SH 24 %
0,04

0,035

PDF

0,03

0,025

0,02

0,015

0,01

0,005

2160

2100

2040

1980

1920

1860

1800

1740

1680

1620

1560

1500

1440

1380

1320

1260

1200

1140

1080

960

1020

900

840

780

720

660

600

540

480

420

360

300

Transmitted power [mW]

Figure 5.32 PDF of the total power transmitted by the most loaded BS with shadowing and with

active set composed also by 3 BSs

In the other cells of the system, instead, the average total power transmitted rises in a modest
manner as the number of connections managed increases.
Figure 5.32 shows, instead, that the probability density of the total power transmitted by the
reference base station has no significant variations also with a high percentage (24 %) of users in
soft handover.
Finally, Figure 5.33 shows the average number of connections active in each base station of the
system. As always, the number of connections managed by the most loaded cell remains
unchanged, to point out as this base station can only receive help. The base stations of the system,
adjacent to the reference one, register an average increase of 5.3 % in the number of connections
managed, whereas the farthest base stations, because of shadowing, register an average increase of
0.7 %.

83

Chapter 5

140
SH 0 %

130

SH 8 %

120

SH 24 %
110

Average nr. of connectio

100
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
0

10

11

12

13

14

15

BS identificator

Figure 5.33 Average number of connections active in each cell with shadowing and with active set

composed also by 3 BSs

5.5 Conclusions
At first it has been studied a uniform network scenario, with all the cell of the system loaded in the
same way.
The use of two different schemes for Power Control has allowed to determine how, in doing soft
handover, it is given greater weight to the base station from which the user receives the strongest
signal. Such a weight depends also on . In fact, when is equal to 3 dB, the base station of the
active set, from which the user receives the strongest signal, gives a contribute to the reaching of the
target of quality which varies between 50 and 75 %; in the case when is equal to 10 dB, instead,
the contribute of the strongest base station goes over 75 %. Hence, for high values of , the second
base station of the active set gives a little contribute. It could be possible to obtain advantages

84

Chapter 5
unsettling, with complex procedures, the base stations of the active set, especially for low values of
the parameter .
Extending the maximum dimension of the active set to three, it has been observed how the situation
becomes much more complex since, according to the parameters used in the soft handover
procedure, it can be convenient or not to work in macro diversity with more base stations.
With a load uniform all over the system, the soft handover procedure requires an increase in the
average power transmitted by the base stations of the system; the advantages due to macro diversity
(flexible soft handover) require a greater consumption of resources in terms of power and of
connections.
With the system load not uniform, in the most loaded cell there are registered different behaviours.
When the maximum dimension of the active set is limited to two, it has been observed a gain in
terms of less average total power transmitted by the most loaded base station. The saving in power
results to be noticeable (29 %) with 21 % of the users of the reference cell working in soft
handover. Moreover, macro diversity allows the base station to work with power levels in a more
limited range. With such a network scenario, the soft handover procedure allows to increase the
system capacity.
When the maximum dimension of the active set is extended to three, performance varies a little and
the analysis, once more, results to be more complex. In every case, it is registered that the most
loaded base station does not receive advantages from the soft handover procedure, continuing to
give almost the whole contribute to the reaching of the target of quality.

85

Chapter 6

Chapter 6
Conclusions
In WCDMA / FDD cellular systems of the third generation macro diversity allows to realize,
without any criticality, the handover procedure. Therefore it is referred to as soft handover
procedure, where the concept of handover presupposes that one of macro diversity. It is known that
soft handover gives improvements in the quality of the signals received, but it allows also to find
benefits in the capacity and in the coverage of the system.
The aspects related to the capacity and coverage of WCDMA / FDD systems in presence of soft
handover constitute the object of this thesis, considering that, in spite of the interest for these topics,
there are few results available in literature.
The analysis of the soft handover procedure in WCDMA / FDD systems in the downlink direction
has required the development of a simulator, related to a macro cellular environment with
hexagonal cells having in their centre a base station equipped with an omnidirectional antenna. To
the users, distributed in a uniform way in each cell of the system and occupying a fixed position, it
is offered a voice service with an AMR encoding at 12.2 kbps.
The core of the simulator has been verified through numerical results obtained also with an
analytical model, taken from literature [1]. In the analytical model the intercell interference has
been evaluated as a fraction i of the intracell interference. The comparison between analytical
results and simulative results has allowed to verify that, in presence of a lognormal shadowing with
a null mean value and a standard deviation = 10 dB, the average value of the parameter i results to
be equal to 0.55, in agreement with how generally proposed in literature [1].

86

Chapter 6
In the second part of the thesis it has been introduced the soft handover procedure, according to
which a user is not limited to remain connected to just one base station, but it can involve in the
call more base stations (active set), if the relative signal received is sufficiently good. The estimate
of signals is done on the basis of the parameter , measured in dB, which represents the maximum
difference between the signal received from the optimal base station (from which the user receives
the strongest signal) and the signal received from another base station with which it is possible to
work in soft handover. In simulations the active set has been fixed whether equal to two, according
to how it is suggested in literature, and equal to three, to extend the field of investigation. The value
of the parameter has been let vary, assuming the values of 3, 7 and 10 dB.
At first, the traffic distribution has been maintained uniform all over the system; with such an
hypothesis the probability of soft handover is, on the average, equal in all the cells of the system.
All the base stations register the same performance, expressed in average total power transmitted
and in average number of connections managed, being able to leave a particular BS out of
consideration and to refer all the results to a generic base station. Each mobile terminal measures,
frame by frame, the SIR (Signal-to-Interference Ratio) received as sum of the contributes coming
from the BSs of the active set and it compares it with a value chosen as reference threshold. From
such a comparison, the Power Control procedure establishes if and how the base stations of the
active set have to vary their own power transmitted onto that connection, in order to achieve the
target. There are implemented two different methods for the Power Control procedure, in order to
evaluate how the weights, which the different BSs of the active set have in the achievement of the
target value of SIR, influence soft handover performance.
The two methods, used for Power Control, are the following one:

With independent loops (LIN), according to which the user compares separately each
one of the SIRs received with a fraction of the target value and it determines the PC
commands specific for each base station of the active set; in order to communicate such
commands the mobile terminal uses a different uplink DCH channel for each base
station, so that such a procedure cannot be used in real systems, where it is used just one
uplink connection;

With a unique loop (LUN), according to which the user compares the total SIR received
with the target value and it sends the same PC command to all the base stations of the
active set, as it happens in real systems.

87

Chapter 6

Active set dimension


Offered traffic, A0
[Erl/cell]
[dB]
Weight of the less strong BS of the
active set,

2
65
3 - 10
0.25 0.5 0.75

Table 6.1 Parameter values

The LIN method has allowed to evaluate the values of the average total power transmitted to the
varying of the percentage of connections managed in soft handover, for different scenarios in
presence of shadowing, characterised by the parameters scheduled in Table 6.1.
To the increasing of the percentage of users in soft handover, the average total power transmitted by
the base station rises as much as higher the threshold value is and as lower it is the percentage of
SIRtarget assigned to the optimal base station (Figure 5.12 and Figure 5.13).
On the basis of these results it has been possible to verify how the LUN mechanism allows to assign
always a greater weight to the base station of the active set which the mobile terminal hears as the
strongest one, for both the values of the parameter (Figure 5.12 and Figure 5.13).
In particular, for = 3 dB, the weakest base station gives a contribute to the target value of SIR
which varies between 25 and 50 %, whereas in the case of = 10 dB, such a contribute does not go
over 25 %; in the latter case, hence, the second base station of the active set gives a little contribute.
It would be possible to reduce the average total power transmitted sharing appropriately the
contribute between the base stations of the active set, in particular for low values of the parameter
, but the implementation, to obtain such a scope, would result to be quite complex.
Extending the maximum dimension of the active set to three, the trends of the average total power
transmitted by the base stations are more difficult to compare, since the weight given to the
different connections can be different according to how soft handover is achieved; from the results
obtained it has been possible to note that the trend for = 3 dB is over that one for = 10 dB, also
if the difference is appreciable only for high percentages of connections in soft handover (Figure
5.20).
88

Chapter 6
With an active set equal to three, the advantages in terms of average total power transmitted are less
relevant, since the optimal base station results to give the greatest contribute to the achievement of
SIRtarget. This does not prevent from having the usual advantages in terms of cell coverage and of
facility in doing the handover operation (left of a base station and connection to another one).
In the last part of this thesis, the system has been loaded in a not uniform manner, in order to
simulate the situation when one cell, having to manage a particular high number of users, uses the
macro diversity to get help from the neighbouring cells. In order to achieve such a purpose, to a
reference cell it has been assigned a traffic higher than that one of the remaining cells of the system.
Moreover, only the users of the most loaded cell can work in macro diversity.
At first, without shadowing and with a maximum dimension of the active set limited to two, it has
been observed a reduction of almost 8 % of the average total power transmitted by the most loaded
base station when the soft handover procedure is applied. Such a gain has been obtained at the
expenses of an increase (in the average of 5 %) of the average total power transmitted by the base
stations of the cells adjacent to the most loaded one, with a relative increase in the number of
connections managed (Figure 5.22 and Figure 5.24). The cells farthest from the reference one,
instead, do not undergo any effect, since they have not to manage outer connections, being too
much far.
Extending the maximum dimension of the active set to three, the gain in power, which can be
obtained when soft handover is applied, is very modest, also with a high percentage (30 %) of users
in soft handover, whereas it is registered a higher consumption of resources (Figure 5.25).
Limiting the maximum dimension of the active set to two in presence of shadowing, the average
total power transmitted by the base stations of the system, without users in soft handover, rises on
the average of almost 55 % with respect to when they work without shadowing, as previously
observed. However, applying the soft handover procedure, it has been registered a considerably
reduction in the average total power transmitted by the most loaded base station: such a reduction
rises to the value of 29 % with a percentage of users in soft handover of 21 % (Figure 5.28).
Moreover, the probability density distribution of the total power transmitted by the reference cell
shows how, thanks to the employment of the soft handover procedure, the base station can work
with lower power levels; its working becomes also more steady, since it is reduced the dispersion of
the power values with which the BS works (Figure 5.29).

89

Chapter 6
Extending the maximum dimension of the active set to three, it has been observed that the soft
handover procedure does not produce any gain in terms of less power transmitted by the most
loaded base station, since such a BS continues to give almost the whole contribute to the
achievement of the target of quality (Figure 5.31).
At last, it is necessary to point out how the presence of shadowing produces a redistribution of the
traffic on the various cells of the system, to advantage of coverage. Moreover, someone of the
farthest cells from the reference one can be involved in the soft handover procedure.
In conclusion, macro diversity offers advantages, but it requires more resources in terms of power
and connections managed by each base station. The percentage of users which can work in soft
handover depends first of all on the parameter , to which it is better to assign limited values (e.g.
= 3 dB) in order to limit in a reasonable way the resources assigned to macro diversity. Also the
dimension of the active set has a considerable influence on the behaviour of soft handover: an active
set limited to two is that one which presents a more foreseeable behaviour.
Finally, the additional advantages of soft handover are strictly dependent on the modality with
which the load is distributed among the cells. With a traffic uniform all over the system, it has been
registered an increase of the coverage in presence of shadowing, but there are no advantages in
terms of a less average total power transmitted by the base stations, since each base station is helped
and helps the other cells for the management of the users in macro diversity.
With a not uniform load, the most loaded cell can improve its own capacity, saving in power, if its
own users are managed in macro diversity with the adjacent cells. In such a case, the base station
with a higher load is not involved in the management in macro diversity of users belonging to other
cells.
Therefore, an efficient soft handover procedure requires not only the right choice of some
parameters, such as the threshold and the active set dimension, but also the specification of more
sophisticated procedures of Call Admission Control.

90

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92