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Handover Control in

CDMA Radio Networks

Hongying Yin
Feb. 11th 2003
Helsinki University of Technology
1. Handover
Soft handover
Softer handover
Inter-frequency handover
Intra-frequency handover
Inter-system handover
2. Cell info for Handover Measurement Reporting
Neighbour cell definitions
Cell List
3. Measurement Reporting Criteria
Intrafrequency measurements
Interfrequency and Intersystem Measurements
UE Internal Measurements
4. Reporting Measurement Results
Soft Handover (1/2)
In a soft handover, a terminal is connected
simultaneously to more than one base station via
several handover branches. The group of base
stations communicating with the terminal during
soft handover is called the active set.

Based on signal strength decisions involving various

thresholds, branches can be added to or removed
from the connection at any time, in other words
base stations can be added to or removed from the
active set. Such actions are referred to as active
set update procedures.
Soft Handover (2/2)
Softer Handover (1/2)
A softer handover is performed between two
adjacent sectors of the same base station.
In downlink, soft and softer handover is very
similar from the terminal point of view (signal
replicas are simply combined in the Rake
In uplink, there is a major difference between soft
and softer handover.
In soft handover branches, signal replicas can only be
combined within the Radio Network Controller (RNC)
In softer handover branches, signal replicas can be
combined earlier - within the base station.
Softer Handover (2/2)
Hard Handover

This type of handover is well-known from GSM. A

hard handover may take place:
Between channels carried by two different frequencies
within the same cell or adjacent cells (both cases are
referred to as interfrequency handovers);
Between UTRA FDD and UTRA TDD channels (intermode
Between UMTS and GSM channels (intersystem
In addition, in such situations where the Iur interface
between two RNCs is not available for soft handover, a hard
handover can be performed - using the same frequency -
from a cell belonging to one RNC to a cell belonging to the
other RNC (intrafrequency handover).
Hard/Interfrequency Handover
Hard/Intrafrequency Handover
Inter-System Handover
Handover Measurement Reporting
- Neighbour cell definitions
Intrafrequency neighbour list:
The UE must be able to monitor at least 32 cells on the same WCDMA
carrier frequency as the serving cell.

Interfrequency neighbour list:

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

Intersystem neighbour lists:

A separate list is needed for each neighbouring PLMN. Max of 32
interfrequency neighbour must be supported by UE.
Handover Measurement Reporting
- WCDMA Neighbour Cell List Info

Global RNC Identifier (PLMN id MCC and MNC, RNC

Cell ID
Location Area Code (LAC)
Routing Area Code (RAC)
UTRA Absolute Radio Frequency Channel Number
Scrambing code of the Primary Common Pilot Channel
Handover Measurement Reporting
- GSM Neighbour Cell List Info
Cell Global ID
BCCH frequency
Base Station ID Code
Measurement Reporting Criteria
- Intrafrequency Measurements
Mobile Equipment Handover Type (MEHO)
RAN broadcasts the measurements reporting
criteria for intrafrequency measurements in
When criteria is fulfilled, UE reports the
measurement results to RNC.
RNC makes the HO decisions.
Measurement Reporting Criteria
- Interfrequency and Intersystem Measurements
Network Handover Type (NEHO)
Interfrequency and Intersystem measurements are
made only when RNC sends orders.
A separate measurements reporting criteria is sent to
UE will periodically reports the results to RNC.
The measurement is controlled by:
Reporting duration
Reporting interval
Measurement Reporting Criteria
- UE Internal Measurements
UE internal measurements criteria are
cell-by-cell basis

parameters common to all cells in the whole RNC.

Network sends the measurement information
on DCCH rather than BCCH.
UE reports the measurement results to RNC
when the measurement criteria is fulfilled.
Measurement Results Reporting
Event-triggered intrafrequency measurement
Periodic intrafrequency measurement report
Interfrequency measurement report
Intersystem measurement report
Measurement reports on common channels
Quality deterioration report
Measurement Results Reporting
- Reporting of the Intrafrequency Measurements
UE is constantly monitoring
P-CPICH Ec/I0 neighbor cells
Evaluating the reporting criteria
UE sends an event-trigger report when one of
the events is fulfilled.
Some other factors also taken into accounts
during the measurements.
Report of the Measurement Results
- Time-to-Trigger Mechanism

Frequent reporting excessive signalling

Each report event can be connected with timer
Report of the Measurement Results
- Event-Triggered/Periodic Reporting
Event-triggered reporting results in an access
stratum update.
If access stratum can not be updated because
of lack of capabilities or HW resources, UE
will send periodic report.
Explanation of what is soft handover, softer
handover and hard handover.
Abbreviation and Definition
BCCH: broadcast control channel
CPICH: common pilot channel
DCCH: dedicated control channel
Ec/I0: ratio in decibels (dB) of the pilot energy accumulated over one PN chip period
(Ec) to the total power spectral density in the received bandwidth (I 0)
FDD: frequency division duplex
Iur: logical interface for the interconnection of two radio network controller (RNC)
components of the UMTS terrestrial radio access network (UTRAN) system.
MCC: mobile country code
MNC: mobile network code
TDD: time division duplex
UMTS: Universal Mobile Telecommunications System
UTRA: UMTS terrestrial radio access
Uu: Radio interface between the UMTS terrestrial radio access network (UTRAN)
and user equipment (UE)
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Planning and Optimisation for UMTS, Wiley 2002.
2. Jens Zander and Seong-Luyn Kim: Radio Resource Management for
Wirless Networks, Artech House 2001.
3. Holma & Toskala: "WCDMA for UMTS, Radio Access for Third
Generation Mobile Communications", John Wiley & Sons.
4. T. Ojanpera &etc. wideband CDMA for Third Generation Mobile
Communications , Artech House Publishers.
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Kluwer Academic Publishers.
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