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Handover in WCDMA

Course Contents

Chapter 1 Overview

Chapter 2 Handover parameters

Chapter 3 Handover procedure

Page 2
Introduction
Handover is the most important part of mobility management .

The purpose of handover is that a UE in CELL_DCH state is


served continuously as it moves.

There are

• Intra-frequency handovers,
• Inter-frequency handovers,
• Inter-system , a.k.a. Inter-Radio Access Technology (RAT),
handovers.

Page 3
Handover types
Intra-Frequency Handovers

Softer handover
Handover between two sectors of the same NodeB (handled by NodeB itself)
Maximum Ratio Combining (MRC) occurs in both the UL and DL

Soft handover (SHO)


Handover between two sectors of the different NodeBs (handled by RNC)
MS is simultaneously connected to multiple cells from different Node Bs
DL: MRC by UE & UL: Frame Selection Combining by RNC.

Hard handover
Occurs when
• inter-RNC SHO is not possible (Iur not supported or Iur congestion)
• Some high speed data service is required/requested, e.g. HSPA
Decision procedure is the same as SHO (i.e. RNC controlled)
Causes temporary disconnection of the user
Page 4
Handover types

Inter-Frequency Handover
Can be intra-NodeB, intra-RNC, inter-RNC,
Decision algorithm is located in and performed by RNC.

Inter-RAT Handover
Handovers between GSM and WCDMA

Page 5
Comparison between Soft and Softer
Handovers

Page 6
Comparison between Soft and Hard
Handovers
The situation in hard handover. Cells are using the same frequency:

Page 7
Comparison between Soft and Hard
Handovers (cont.)
The situation in soft handover. Cells are using the same frequency:

Page 8
Comparison between Soft and Hard
Handovers (cont.)
Item Soft Handover Hard Handover

The number of cells in Several (normally Only one


the active set up to 3, but max.
could be 6)

Interruption during No Yes


handover

The frequencies of Only happens in Can happen in Intra-


cells Intra-frequency frequency cells or Inter-
cells frequency cells

Utilization of downlink Occupies more Occupies less resources


and transmission resources
resources
Page 9
Comparison between Soft and Hard
Handovers (cont.)

Soft handover scenario Hard handover scenario

Page 10
Comparison between Soft and Hard
Handovers (cont.)
Controlling RNC (C-RNC): A role an RNC can take with respect to a specific
set of Node B's.
There is only one Controlling RNC for any Node B.
The Controlling RNC has the overall control of the logical resources of its
Node B's.

Page 11
Comparison between Soft and Hard
Handovers (cont.)
Serving RNC (S-RNC): A role an RNC can take with respect to a specific
connection between an UE and UTRAN.
There is one Serving RNC for each UE that has a connection to UTRAN.
The Serving RNC is in charge of the radio connection between a UE and the
UTRAN.
The Serving RNC terminates the Iu for this UE.

Page 12
Comparison between Soft and Hard
Handovers (cont.)
Drift RNC (D-RNC): A role an RNC can take with respect to a serving RNC.
It provides macro-diversity combining and splitting.
There could be more than one Drift RNC for a UE.
It performs transparent routing of data on Iub and Iur interfaces.

Page 13
Maximum Ratio Combination

• Each signal reception branch is multiplied by a weight factor that is


proportional to the signal amplitude.
• Branches with a stronger signal are further amplified, while weak
signals are attenuated.

Page 14
Frame Selection Combination

• Decodes the signal received by each cell individually and selects only
one of the correctly decoded blocks for further processing by higher
layers.

• Compared to Frame selection combination, Maximum ratio


combination provides both diversity and power gain.

• Maximum ratio combination has a gain of 2-3 dB relative to Frame


selection combination.

Page 15
Frame Selection Combination (cont.)

Page 16
Three Steps of Handover

Measurement Phase
Measurement control vs. Measurement report messages
Measurement execution and the
result processing
Mainly accomplished by UE

Decision Phase Measurement Decision


Based on Measurement reports from UE
Considers distribution of
resources
Mainly accomplished by RRM in
RNC

Execution Phase Execute


Based on signaling
Should support rollback in case of failure
Measurement control refresh

Page 17
Measurement Control vs. Message Report

Measurement Control: From network to UE

Measurement Report: From UE to network

Page 18
Measurement Control vs. Message Report
(cont.)
Intra-frequency soft(er) handover

Page 19
Measurement Control vs. Message Report
(cont.)
Hard handover (intra-frequency or inter-frequency)

Page 20
Course Contents

Chapter 1 Overview

Chapter 2 Handover parameters

Chapter 3 Handover procedure

Page 21
Chapter 2 Handover parameters

2.1 Intra-frequency handover


2.2 inter-frequency handover
2.3 inter-system handover

Page 22
Intra-frequency Measurement Events

Event 1A,A primary pilot channel enters the reporting range. When
the active set of UE is full, UE stops reporting 1A event;

Event 1B,A primary pilot channel leaves the reporting range;

Event 1C,A primary pilot channel out of active set is better


than a primary pilot channel in the active set;

Event 1D,The best cell in the active set changes;

Event 1F , A primary pilot in the active set becomes worse than an


absolute threshold
Page 23
Measurement parameters

Report range or relative threshold: As higher it is, it is easier to


trigger a particular event or vice-versa.

Hysteresis: Related to slow-fading characteristics. The greater it


is, the less ping-pong effect and misjudgement can be caused.
However, this would bring a delay for triggering the event.

Time to Trigger: Also related to slow-fading characteristics. Has


similar characteristics as hysteresis.

Page 24
Measurement parameters (cont.)

Cell-individual Offsets: used as an offset to control promoting or


avoiding handover to a particular cell.

Layer3 filter coefficient: controls the impact of each cell in the


active set on the triggering decision.

The greater it is, the higher the soft handover relative threshold.

When equal to 0, only the best cell in the active set could impact
on the decision.

Page 25
Measurement parameters (cont.)

Condition for measurement reporting:

• Periodic Reporting,
• Event Reporting.

Metric to be measured:

• CPICH Ec/No,
• CPICH RSCP.

Page 26
Measurement parameters (cont.)

Measurement parameters and conditions are transferred within


Measurement Control messages:

Page 27
Measurement parameters (cont.)

Measurement parameters and conditions are transferred within


Measurement Control messages:

Page 28
Measurement parameters (cont.)

Measurement parameters and conditions are transferred within


Measurement Control messages:

Page 29
Triggering of Event 1A

Event 1A,A primary pilot channel enters the reporting range. When
the active set of UE is full, UE stops reporting 1A event.

Page 30
Triggering of Event 1A (cont.)

From UE point of view, WCDMA cells are divided into

• Active Set cells: Cells with which there is a radio link established
through soft(er) handover,

• Monitored Set cells: Neighbours of the cells in the active set. They
could be intra-frequency, inter-frequency and/or inter-system,

• Detected Set cells: Other cells than the above that are detected.

Unless implemented otherwise, total number of cells is limited to 32


for each set.
Page 31
Event 1A Chart
Best cell
Best cell-Relative threshold

Measurement
quantity
P CPICH 1
Reporting
range

P CPICH 2

P CPICH 3 Time-to-trigger

Reporting Time
event 1A

Page 32
Event 1A from TEMS

Page 33
Triggering of Event 1B

Event 1B,A primary pilot channel leaves the reporting range.

Page 34
Event 1B Chart
Best cell
Best cell-Relative threshold

Page 35
Event 1B from TEMS

Page 36
Impact of Parameters for Events 1A and 1B
Report Range or Relative threshold
• Set values for Events 1A and 1B separately,
• 1A < 1B,which makes deleting RL is more difficult, and it can avoid
ping-pong handover,
• Usually 1A: 3dB; 1B: 6dB,
• Relative thresholds are set separately for CS and PS services!

Time to trigger
• Value for each event can be set separately,
• Usually, 1B>1A,which makes deleting RL is more difficult, and it can
avoid ping-pong handover,
• Usually, 1A: 320ms, 1B: 640ms.

Layer 3 filter coefficient


• Only one value for all intra-frequency measurements,
• Sensitive to the delay of event trigger and ping-pong handover,
• Usually:3

Page 37
Triggering of Event 1C

Event 1C,A primary pilot channel out of active set is better


than a primary pilot channel in the active set;

It can only be triggered if the active set is full. Otherwise, Event 1A


is triggered!
Page 38
Event 1C Chart

Measurement
quantity
P CPICH 1

P CPICH 2

P CPICH 3

P CPICH 4

Reporting Reporting Time


event 1C event 1C

Page 39
Event 1C from TEMS

Page 40
Triggering of Event 1D

Event 1D,The best cell in the active set changes;

Page 41
Event 1D Chart

Measurement
quantity
P CPICH 1

P CPICH 2

P CPICH3

Reporting Time
event 1D

Page 42
Event 1D from TEMS

Page 43
Triggering of Event 1F

Event 1F,A primary pilot in the active set becomes worse than an
absolute threshold;

If there is no more primary pilot left in the active set, RNC may
decide for a blind handover of UE to an inter-frequency cell, if
available.
Page 44
Chapter 2 Handover parameters

2.1 Intra-frequency handover


2.2 inter-frequency handover
2.3 inter-system handover

Page 45
Inter-frequency handover overview
Inter-frequency handover can be triggered based on

• Coverage: for continuity of calls while avoiding drops.

• Load and/or service: for balancing the traffic between the


cells and moving certain users/applications to the other
carrier in case required, e.g. UMTS carrier vs. HSPA carrier.

• Speed: In what so called Hierarchical Cell Structure (HCS),


cells are divided into macro and micro cells. Those users
with higher speeds stay at macro cells whereas those with
lower speed are served by micro cells.

Page 46
Inter-frequency Measurement Events

Page 47
Triggering of Event 2D

Event 2D,When the current signal quality is lower than the preset
threshold, the system enables compressed mode and starts inter-
frequency measurement

Page 48
Event 2D from TEMS

Page 49
After Event 2D

After receiving event 2D, the RNC would perform either

• Periodical measurement reporting, or,

• Event 2B triggered measurement reporting,

depending on if inter-frequency measurement reporting mode is


chosen as periodical or event based.

Inter-frequency handover mode will continue till event 2F is received


or inter-frequency measurement timer expires!

Page 50
After Event 2D (cont.)

Periodical measurement reporting is more recommended than to


event triggered measurement reporting.

It leads to a higher handover success ratio since even if handover


fails, RNC tries handover to the same cell upon reception of a
periodical report from UE.

RNC makes the handover decision based on the periodic


measurement reports provided by UE.

Page 51
Compressed Mode

UE cannot operate on two different frequencies at the same time.

Compressed mode is required to be able to match with the


frequency of a cell that uses another frequency than the one
currently used by the serving cell.

There are two possible ways of moving to compressed mode:

• Spreading factor reduction, i.e. SF/2,

• Higher layer scheduling.

Page 52
Periodical Measurement

Inter-frequency handover based on periodical measurement


requires holding following conditions during hard handover trigger
delay time:

1. CPICH RSCP and Ec/No of the inter-frequency cell should be


higher than the corresponding minimum access thresholds,
2.

Page 53
Periodical Measurement (cont.)

Inter-frequency handover based on periodical measurement


is stopped if:

1. Either CPICH RSCP or Ec/No of the inter-frequency cell falls


below the corresponding minimum access threshold,
2. The following condition is no longer satisfied:

Page 54
Triggering of Event 2F

Event 2F,When the current signal quality is higher than the preset
threshold, the system disables compressed mode and stops inter-
frequency measurement

Page 55
Event 2F from TEMS

Page 56
Triggering of Event 2B

Event 2B,When the current signal quality is lower than the preset
threshold and the signal quality of an inter-frequency neighbouring
cell is also higher than the preset threshold, the system triggers an
inter-frequency handover based on coverage.

Page 57
Triggering of Event 2C

Event 2C,The estimated quality of an inter-frequency cell is higher


than the preset threshold.

Page 58
Chapter 2 Handover parameters

2.1 Intra-frequency handover


2.2 inter-frequency handover
2.3 inter-system handover

Page 59
Inter-system handover overview
Application scenario: WCDMA <-> GSM

• Different radio access technology is used after handover,


• From WCDMA to GSM, UE switches to compressed mode to be
able to perform measurement process in GSM.

Advantages

• For coverage, it can solve the problems from one system to another
system,
• For capacity, it can enhance the utilizing efficiency of equipments in
terms of load (GSM->WCDMA).

Disadvantages

• The flow is complicated, and it demands higher compatibility for


equipments,
• Demands more complicated UE.
Page 60
Inter-system handover overview (cont.)
When UE is in CELL-DCH state, moving between these two
technologies is called as handover for CS services whereas as
cell reselection for PS services.

WCDMA to GSM Handover could be based on:

• Coverage: When CPICH RSCP or CPICH Ec/No of the serving


cell is lower than a threshold while RSSI of the GSM neighbour
cell is higher than the corresponding threshold,

• Load: The load of serving cell is higher than a threshold,

• Service: When requested service could be supplied by GSM


network.

Page 61
Inter-system handover overview (cont.)
If handover is based on coverage, then it is either periodical or
based on Event 3A reporting.

However, if handover is based on load or service, then it is based


on Event 3C reporting.

Confirmation of BSIC of the GSM cell is optional. However, it would


make handover more reliable.

Page 62
Periodical Measurement

Inter-system handover based on periodical measurement


requires holding of following condition during handover trigger
delay time:

Page 63
Inter-system handover decision
Event reporting

Event 2D: initiate GSM measurement.

Event 2F: stop GSM measurement.

Event 3A : The estimated quality of the used UTRAN frequency is lower


than a certain threshold, and that of the other system is higher than a
certain threshold.

Event 3C: The estimated quality value of the other system is higher
than an absolute threshold.

Page 64
Triggering of Event 2D

Event 2D,When the current signal quality is lower than the preset
threshold, the system enables compressed mode and starts
measuring inter-system cells:

Page 65
Event 2D from TEMS

Page 66
After Event 2D

After receiving event 2D, the RNC would perform either

• Periodical measurement reporting or

• Event 3A triggered measurement reporting

depending on if inter-system measurement reporting mode is


chosen as periodical or event based.

Inter-frequency handover mode will continue till event 2F is received


or inter-frequency measurement timer expires!

Page 67
Triggering of Event 3A
Event 3A :The estimated quality value of the used UTRAN
frequency is lower than a certain threshold, and that of the other
system is higher than a certain threshold.

Page 68
Event 3A from TEMS

Page 69
Triggering of Event 3C
Event 3C : The estimated quality value of the other system is higher
than a absolute threshold.

Page 70
Course Contents

Chapter 1 Overview

Chapter 2 Handover parameters

Chapter 3 Handover procedure

Page 71
Chapter 3 Handover procedure

3.1 Intra-frequency handover


3.2 inter-frequency handover
3.3 inter-system handover

Page 72
Signaling Flow for Soft Handover (add RL)

Page 73
Signaling Flow for Soft Handover (del RL)

Page 74
Signaling Flow for Intra-frequency
Hard Handover
Target Source
UE NODEB SRNC
NODEB
1.RADIO LINK SETUP REQUEST

2. RADIO LINK SETUP RESPONSE

3.ALCAP establish

4. PHYSICAL CHANNEL RECONFIGURATION

5. RADIO LINK
FAILURE INDICATION

6. PHYSICAL CHANNEL RECONFIGURATION COMPLETE

7. RADIO LINK
DELETION REQUEST

8. RADIO LINK
DELETION RESPONSE

9.ALCAP release

Page 75
Chapter 3 Handover procedure

3.1 Intra-frequency handover


3.2 inter-frequency handover
3.3 inter-system handover

Page 76
Signaling Flow for Inter-frequency
Hard Handover (same RNC)
Target Source
UE NODEB SRNC
NODEB
1.RADIO LINK SETUP REQUEST

2. RADIO LINK SETUP RESPONSE

3.ALCAP established

4. PHYSICAL CHANNEL RECONFIGURATION

5. RADIO LINK
FAILURE INDICATION

6. PHYSICAL CHANNEL RECONFIGURATION COMPLETE

7. RADIO LINK
DELETION REQUEST

8. RADIO LINK
DELETION RESPONSE

9.ALCAP released

Page 77
Signaling Flow for Inter-frequency
Hard Handover (different RNC)

Page 78
Chapter 3 Handover procedure

3.1 Intra-frequency handover


3.2 inter-frequency handover
3.3 inter-system handover

Page 79
Signaling Flow for WCDMA to GSM
Handover in CS Domain
UE Node B SRNC CN MSC BSC

1. Relocation
Required 2. Prepare
Handover
3. Handover
Request

4. Handover
Request Ack
5. Prepare
6. Relocation Handover
Command Response
7. DCCH : Handover
from UTRAN Command
8. Handover
Detect

9. Handover Complete

10. Handover
Complete
12. Iu Release 11. Send
Command End
Signal
Request
13. Iu Release
Complete 14. Send End
Signal Response

Page 80
Signaling Flow for WCDMA to GSM
Handover in PS Domain

Page 81
GSM -> WCDMA Handover and Cell
Reselection
In Motorola BSS, GSM -> WCDMA Inter-RAT Handover and Cell-Reselection
functionalities are controlled by the features:

• GSM BSS Inter-RAT Handover

• FR 22879 Enhanced 2G-3G Handovers and Cell Reselection

Page 82
GSM -> WCDMA Handover and Cell
Reselection (cont.)
GSM BSS Inter-RAT Handover feature enables a multi-RAT MS:

– to perform cell reselection from GSM to WCDMA while in idle mode,

– to perform handover from a WCDMA cell to a GSM cell while in


dedicated mode.

Page 83
GSM -> WCDMA Handover and Cell
Reselection (cont.)
FR 22879 Enhanced 2G-3G Handovers and Cell Reselection feature provides
a multi-RAT MS:

– to perform handovers while in dedicated mode from a GSM cell to a


WCDMA cell,
– idle mode cell reselection functionality by providing blind search
support.

For this purpose, WCDMA frequencies are broadcast in the System


Information messages.

Page 84
GSM -> WCDMA Handover and Cell
Reselection (cont.)
On the other hand, MSC may trigger service-based handovers to WCDMA in
case requested service is not available in GSM.

To enable Inter-RAT Handover and Cell-Reselection between


a GSM and WCDMA cell, they should be defined as neighbours.

Depending on if a WCDMA cell is defined as BCCH and/or SACCH


neighbor during neighbor addition with add_neighbour command,
umts_ba_type parameter gets a value.

Page 85
GSM -> WCDMA Handover and Cell
Reselection (cont.)
BSS-CELL Parameters

• inter_rat_enabled: It can have values from 0 to 7, where setting of 7


allows idle and bi-directional dedicated handovers and cell reselections. In
fact, setting 0 to 3 for this parameter require the first feature enabled,
whereas 4 to 7 require the second feature enabled.

• blind_search_preference: decides for if blind search is to be performed


in the idle mode or not. If it is set, it reduces SI messages in DL, but
increases the time to synchronize with WCDMA cells.

• qsearch_i: it controls the RXLEV of the serving cell in the idle mode, i.e.
BCCH level, below or above which measurements on WCDMA neighbour
cells are triggered. Page 86
GSM -> WCDMA Handover and Cell
Reselection (cont.)
BSS-CELL Parameters (cont.)

• qsearch_c: it determines the RXLEV of the serving cell in the dedicated


mode, i.e. SACCH level, below or above which measurements on WCDMA
neighbour cells are triggered.

• qsearch_c_initial: till a valid qsearch_c is available, MS will use


qsearch_c_initial value. When it is equal to 0, it means to use qsearch_c
equal to qsearch_i.

• fdd_rep_quant: it decides for if the signal level or quality of a WCDMA


neighbor would be considered for handover.

Page 87
GSM -> WCDMA Handover and Cell
Reselection (cont.)
BSS-CELL Parameters (cont.)

• fdd_qoffset: minimum threshold in idle mode for RSCP measurements.

• fdd_qmin: minimum threshold in idle mode for Ec/No measurements.

• umts_cpich_ec_no_min: minimum threshold in dedicated mode for


Ec/No measurements.

• umts_cpich_rscp_min: minimum threshold in dedicated mode for RSCP


measurements.

Page 88
GSM -> WCDMA Handover and Cell
Reselection (cont.)
BSS-CELL Parameters (cont.)

• umts_ncell_avg_period: it sets the period of SACCH multiframes for the


averaging of WCDMA neighbour cell measurements.

• umts_meas_margin: is defined per neighbour to promote or avoid


handovers and cell reselections to a particular cell.

• umts_band_preferred: decides for the selection of a neighbor based on


its radio access technology if both GSM and WCDMA qualify.

Page 89
GSM -> WCDMA Handover and Cell
Reselection (cont.)
BSS-CELL Parameters (cont.)

• Service Handover: Normally this parameter belongs to MSC. It controls


handovers mandated by the MSC based on service. For example, it is
possible to handover all CS calls from WCDMA to GSM upon call setup. It
can be overwritten by umts_band_preferred parameter.

• inter_cell_handover: Setting this parameter as 3 avoids sending


handover required message from a BSC. It is very useful for test purposes.

• 3G_search_prio: It enables/disables BSIC decoding. Moreover, it works


with Service Handover. For restrictions on access to WCDMA, it is
disabled, set to 0.
Page 90
GSM -> WCDMA Handover and Cell
Reselection (cont.)
BSS-CELL Parameters (cont.)

• umts_ba_type: It takes a value following the parameter combination for


add_neighbour command in terms of UTRAN_BCCH and UTRAN_SACCH
neighbourhood. It is not possible to set this parameter manually. It is rather
the consequence of add_neighbour command.

• service_band_reporting: specifies the number of cells to be reported


from the GSM frequency band.

• fdd_multirat_reporting: determines the number of cells to be reported


from the WCDMA frequency band in the measurement report.

Page 91
GSM -> WCDMA Handover and Cell
Reselection (cont.)
When a multi-RAT MS is in idle mode, these parameters are broadcast from
BSS via System Information Type 2quater.

System Information Type 2quater message includes

• 3G neighbor cells,
• qsearch_i,
• qsearch_c_initial,
• fdd_qoffset,
• fdd_rep_quant,
• fdd_multirat_reporting,
• fdd_qmin.

Page 92
GSM -> WCDMA Handover and Cell
Reselection (cont.)

Page 93
GSM -> WCDMA Handover and Cell
Reselection (cont.)
The concept of blind search in the idle mode enables BSS to broadcast
only WCDMA ARFCN information within the System Information Type
2quater message.

Although it reduces the amount of information within the System


Information Type 2quater message, it would increase the delay for MS to
perform cell reselection in the idle mode.

Page 94
GSM -> WCDMA Handover and Cell
Reselection (cont.)
In order for a reselection to a WCDMA cell,

• CPICH RSCP of this cell should be greater than the sum of receive level of
serving GSM cell and all of the six strongest GSM neighbor cells by a
margin of fdd_qoffset for 5 seconds.

• Ec/No value of WCDMA cell should be greater than or equal to the value
of fdd_qmin.

This phenomenon also applies for cell-reselections in packet-dedicated


mode.

Page 95
GSM -> WCDMA Handover and Cell
Reselection (cont.)
While moving to circuit-dedicated mode, MS communicates its Inter-
RAT capabilities to BSS within Classmark Change and UMTS Classmark
Change messages.

Page 96
GSM -> WCDMA Handover and Cell
Reselection (cont.)
Upon reception of Classmark Change and UMTS Classmark
Change messages, BSS starts sending Measurement Information
messages to the MS.

These messages include

• 3G neighbor cell description,


• qsearch_c,
• 3g_search_prio,
• fdd_rep_quant ,
• fdd_multirat_reporting,

values.
Page 97
GSM -> WCDMA Handover and Cell
Reselection (cont.)

Page 98
GSM -> WCDMA Handover and Cell
Reselection (cont.)
Upon reception of Measurement Information messages, measurements from
UTRAN neighbours are included in the list of MS measurements from 6 best
cells within Measurement Report and sent on the SACCH.

Based on the value of fdd_rep_quant parameter, MS reports

• RSCP, or
• Ec/No.

Page 99
GSM -> WCDMA Handover and Cell
Reselection (cont.)

Page 100
GSM -> WCDMA Handover and Cell
Reselection (cont.)
MS reported levels received within Measurement Report are averaged for
umts_ncell_avg_period.

If averaged value is higher than the minimum threshold


• utran_cpich_rscp_min, when fdd_rep_quant=0
• utran_cpich_ec_no_min, when fdd_rep_quant_min=1

plus the margin (utran_meas_margin), then reported 3G neighbor is qualified


for the handover and Handover Required message is sent from BSS to
MSC.

Page 101
GSM -> WCDMA Handover and Cell
Reselection (cont.)
Statistics and counters

Page 102