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Handover Parameters

There are three ways of optimizing handovers in LTE: a) Via the modification of the parameters a3offset and hysteresisa3 b) By changing the parameter timetotriggereventa3 c) Via the modification of the parameter filtercoefficient for event a3. These set of blogs will dealt with parameter setting for Periodic Reporting of Event A3 only. The intention is to deal with each of the cases mentioned above, one at a time. Hence, this blog will concentrate in case a). Definitions: Event A3 is defined as a triggering event when a neighbour cell becomes an offset better than the serving cell. The UE creates a measurement report, populates the triggering details and sends the message to the serving cell. The parameters that define the trigger include:

a3offset: This parameter can be found in 3GPP 36.331. It configures the RRC IE a3Offset included in the IE reportConfigEUTRA in the MeasurementConfiguration IE. The value sent over the RRC interface is twice the value configured, that is, the UE has to divide the received value by 2.The role of the offset in Event A3 is to make the serving cell look better than its current measurement in comparison to the neighbor. Hysteresisa3: The role of the hysteresis in Event A3 is to make the measured neighbor look worse than measured to ensure it is really stronger before the UE decides to send a measurement report to initiate a handover. timetoTriggera3: The role of ttt in Event A3 is to avoid a ping-pong effect. CellIndividualoffsetEutran: This parameter is applied individually to each neighbor cell with load management purposes. The higher the value allocated to a neighbor cell, the more attractive it will be. This parameter can only be used if the neighbor list is broadcast in SIB4 or in an RRC connection reconfiguration.

Based on the picture above, event A3 will trigger when: RSRP(target) > RSRS(Serving) +a3offset + hysteresisa3 cellindividualoffsetEutran And this condition is valid for timetotriggera3. At the expiration of timetotriggera3, if the UE does not receive an RRC connection reconfiguration message (handover command) from the eNodeB, then it will start a timer called reportingintervala3. At the expiration of this timer, if the conditions for event A3 are still met and the eNodeB has not responded, then another measurement report will be sent to the eNodeB. This process will continue until the eNodeB responds or until a number of measurement reports given by the parameter reportingamount have been sent. Examples: The table below assumes that cellindividualoffsetEutran is not used and shows when the eventa3offset is triggered and when the UE ceases sending measurement reports.

As it can be seen from the table, eventa3 triggers at a3offset+hysteresisa3 However!!! After the first measurement result, subsequent measurement results can be sent if the RSRP of the neighbor cell is only a3offset-hysterisisa3 dB stronger! Hence, weaker neighbors could be reported in the measurements sent by the UE (this case is very rare but it exists in real systems). Therefore, it is recommended to follow the optimization rules: a) a3offset should always be larger than hysteresisa3 if we want UE to handover to cells with an RSRP at least equal to the RSRP value of its serving cell. b) Ensuring a3offset > hysteresisa3 avoids ping-pongs c) The higher the value of a3offset+hysteresisa3 the more we drag the calls to neighboring cells. This is very useful where we have coverage holes (not a one to one deployment scenario on top of 3G cells) d) The smaller the value of a3offset+hysteresisa3 the faster we release the calls to neighboring cells. This is useful in those scenarios where a large number of LTE cells exists in a given geographical area. e) The higher the value of a3offset+hysteresisa3 the more difficult we make it for calls do handover to other cells. Remember, eventa3 triggers at a3offset+hysteresisa3. Subsequent message reports are sent when the RSRP of the neighbor cell is a3offset-hysteresisa3 (See figure below).

In our next blog, we will discuss the parameter timetotriggera3, which is another tool for optimizing handovers in LTE.

Handover Parameters
TimetoTrigger Event a3 As explained in part 1 of these blogs, if the RSRP of a neighbor cell is a3offset+ hysteresisa3 dB stronger than the serving cell for a time period equal to timetotriggera3 then the UE sends the first measurement report to the eNodeB indicating that eventa3 has occurred. timetotriggera3 typical values are [0, 40, 64, 80, 100, 128, 160, 256, 320, 480, 512, 640, 1024, 1280, 2560, 5120] milliseconds. Clearly, the utilization of timetotriggera3 is highly dependent on the parameters a3offset and hysteresisa3. However, some general troubleshooting guidelines are provided here to minimize ping pong effects. Rules: a) If a3offset+ hysteresisa3 is relatively large (i.e.: 6dB or stronger), then a value of timetotriggera3 under 100 ms is acceptable. Explanation: Since the RSRP of the neighbor cell is already stronger than the value of the source cell, the time to trigger should not be large.

b) If a3offset+ hysteresisa3 is relatively small (i.e.: 2dB), then a value of timetotriggera3 should be around 320 to 640 ms. Explanation: Since the RSRP of the neighbor cell is not much stronger than the value of the source cell, the time to trigger should not large to ensure the value remains the same for a long period of time. c) If a3offset = hysteresisa3, see b)

d) If a3offset > hysteresisa3, see a) e) If a3offset < hysteresisa3, see a)

However, these recommendations depend much on the speed of the mobile and the coverage scenarios. The value allocated to timetotriggera3, hence, depends on:

Parameter setting of a3offset and hysteresisa3, Morphology (dense urban, urban, suburban, rural) Speed of UE in the cells (freeways and or suburban roads).

So far, we have discussed two methods for optimizing event A3. In out next blog we will talk about the benefits of optimizing another parameter called, filtercoefficient for event A3 that will allow us to eliminate some of the effects of fast fading in the UE measurements.

Handover Parameters
Filter Coefficient for Event a3 Once the UE is configured to do measurements, the UE starts measuring reference signals from the serving cell and any neighbors it detects. The next question is whether the UE should look at just the current measurement value, or if the recent history of measurements should be considered. LTE, like other wireless technologies, takes the approach of filtering the currently measured value with recent history. Since the UE is doing the measurement, the network conveys the filtering requirements to the UE in an RRC Connection reconfiguration message. The UE filters the measured result, before using for evaluation of reporting criteria or for measurement reporting, by the following formula:

where

Mn is the latest received measurement result from the physical layer; Fn is the updated filtered measurement result, that is used for evaluation of reporting criteria or for measurement reporting; Fn-1 is the old filtered measurement result, where F0 is set to M1 when the first measurement result from the physical layer is received; and a = 1 / 2(k/4), where k is the filterCoefficent for the corresponding measurement quantity received by the quantityConfig.

Then, the UE adapts the filter such that the time characteristics of the filter are preserved at different input rates, observing that the filterCoefficent k assumes a sample rate equal to 200 ms. The parameter a defines the weight given to current value and (1-a) (i.e., the remaining weight is given to the last filtered value). For example, if filter coefficient k = 4, then a = ^(4/4) =1/2. This means that new measurement has half the weight and the last filtered measurement gets the other half of the weight. Example of Filter coefficient values are:

Case 1: value k = 8 , a = , Fn = Old + New Case 2: value k = 4, a = , Fn = Old + New

Optimization Rules: a) A high value of the parameter filtercoefficient will provide higher weight to old measurements (more stringent filter)(the opposite is true) b) The higher the values of filtercoefficient the higher the chances of eliminating fast fading effects on the measurement reports 1. This eliminates reporting a cell which RSRP was suddenly changed due to multipath or fast fading 2. Which in turns eliminates the chances to handover to a cell which RSRP was strong for some milliseconds 3. Therefore reducing the chances for Ping-Pong effects c) A value of 8 is typically used in the network although a value of 16 might also be used in dense urban areas.

Event A3 Parameters Setting


The most important parameters involved in event a3 reporting are listed below: eventA3offset hysteresis timeToTrigger

sMeasure cellIndividualOffset triggerQuantity reportAmount reportInterval filterCoefficientRsrp

LTE R8 uses hard handover. Therefore, one of the main optimization concerns is to avoid ping pongs between cells. Ping pongs significantly reduce user throughput and increases signaling in the E-UTRAN (in the case of X2 handovers) and in the EPC (in the event of an S1 handover). The table below shows an example with three different combinations for the parameters eventA3offset and hysteresis.

Assuming a cellindividualoffset = 0, then: Event a3 will trigger when RSRPsource + eventa3offset +hysteresis <= RSRPtarget + hysteresis Event a3 will not be further valid when RSRPsource + eventa3offset +hysteresis > RSRPtarget + hysteresis Under these circumstances: a) CASE 1:

a. Event a3 will trigger when the RSRP of the target cell is 2dB stronger than the RSRP of the serving cell b. The UE will cease sending measurement reports when the RSRP of the target cell is less than 2dB stronger than the RSRP of the serving cell b) CASE 2:

a. Event a3 will trigger when the RSRP of the target cell is 2dB stronger than the RSRP of the serving cell b. The UE will cease sending measurement reports when the RSRP of the target cell is weaker than the RSRP of the serving cell

c)

CASE 3:

a. Event a3 will trigger when the RSRP of the target cell is 2dB stronger than the RSRP of the serving cell b. The UE will cease sending measurement reports when the RSRP of the target cell is -2dB or weaker than the RSRP of the serving cell Clearly, case 3 could be counterproductive since a candidate can be reported to the source cell when the target is weaker than the source cell!! A healthier approach is to provide a value of say, 3dB to a3offset and a value of 1 dB to the hysteresis parameter (for core cells). This will ensure that the target cell is at least 4 dB to trigger the event a3 and the handset will not report a candidate when the target is not at least 2dB stronger than the source cell (assuming that the number of measurement reports given by reportamount haven't expired). Also, in order to ensure that the target cell is strong enough than the source cell for a good amount of time, the parameter timetotrigger should be set to values of 480, 512 or 640 miliseconds. However, a drive test is recommended before and after these parameters have been modified along with the creation of counter reports for X2 and S1 handovers.

IRAT Reselection - Optimization Hints (LTE to 1xEV-DO and 1xEV-DO to LTE)


Optimization of IRAT reselection is very critical in idle mode. If the parameters governing this reselection are set incorrectly, ping-pong could result (the UE in idle mode goes to 1xEV-DO and the UE in 1xEV-DO in dormant goes back to LTE and so on). LTE to 1xEV-DO: Parameters:

qRxLevmin (in SIB3) defines the minimum RSRP values measured by the UE in a cell to be able to get unrestricted coverage-based service in that cell. sIntraSearch, when added to the qRxLevmin value, will set the threshold for the UE to decide if it has to do intra-frequency cell measurements for potential cell reselection. If the current measured RSRP value for the cell is greater than the threshold set up by the sIntraSearch parameter, then the UE is not required to do intra-frequency measurements. If the current value of RSRP measured by the UE drops below the line, then the UE is required to do intrafrequency measurements for potential cell reselection. sNonIntraSearch is similar in nature to sIntraSearch except that it dictates when the UE has to do inter-frequency measurements for cell reselection purposes. Note that, when interfrequency measurements are done, the UE will still continue to do intra-frequency measurements as well. Threshservinglow when added to qrxlevmin indicates the best cell reception level (RSRP) used in reselection evaluation towards 1xEV-DO. That is, if the RSRP measured is below this threshold, the UE is in conditions to reselect to 1xEV-DO if other conditions are also met (See below). The value sent over the RRC interface is half the value configured (the UE then multiplies the received value by 2) ThreshXLowHRPD represents the minimum level the Ec/Io of the 1xEV-DO pilot must have so that the UE decides to reselect 1xEV-DO rather than LTE. Treselectioncdmahrpd is the time that the RSRP of the best cell must be under Threshservinglow and the measured Ec/Io of the 1xEV-DO pilot must be above ThreshXLowHRPD so that the UE decides to reselect 1xEV-DO.

Step 1: The UE is in idle mode in LTE. It starts measuring: a) LTE neighbors when: RSRP of best cell < Qrxlevmin (SIB3)+ Sintrasearch Example: Qrxlevmin = -120 dBm Sintrasearch = 62 dB Then, the UE starts measuring RSRP of neighboring cells in LTE in the same frequency band. b) 1xEV-DO neighbors when: RSRP of best cell < Qrxlevmin (SIB3)+ SNonintrasearch Example: Qrxlevmin (SIB3)= -120 dBm Sintrasearch = 14 dB Then, the UE starts measuring RSRP of neighboring cells in LTE in the same frequency band AND the pilot Ec/Io of 1xEV-DO candidates. Step 2: The UE camp on to a 1xEV-DO cell if the following conditions are met (See figure below): RSRP of best cell in LTE (dBm) < Qrxlevmin (SIB3)+ThreshServingLow (dBm)

AND Ec/Io of Pilot in 1xEV-DO (dB) > ThreshXLowHRPD (dB) For a time given by the parameter treselectioncdmahrpd Example: If ThreshServingLow = 4 dB, threshXLowHRPD = -7 dB and treselectioncdmahrpd = 5 seconds, then the UE will go to 1xEV-DO (assuming it could not find another LTE cell) if the RSRP of the serving cell < Qrxlevmin(SIB3) +ThreshServingLow = -120dBm+4dB=-116 dBm And the Ec/Io of Pilot in 1xEV-DO (dB) > ThreshXLowHRPD (dB) = -7dB And this conditions hold for 5 seconds.

1xEV-DO to LTE:

A user will come back from 1xEV-DO to LTE if the

RSRP of the candidate cell (dBm) > Qrxlevmin (SIB1)(dBm) Qrxlevminoffset(dB) Example: If Qrxlevmin (SIB1) = -120dBm and Qrxlevminoffset = 14dB, then, the UE will camp back onto LTE if the RSRP of the candidate cell is at least -106 dBm. Optimization rules: a) In order to avoid ping pong: Qrxlevmin (SIB1)(dBm) Qrxlevminoffset(dB) > Qrxlevmin (SIB3)+ThreshServingLow (dBm) The difference has to be at least, say, 8 dB. Note that the larger the difference, the less likely the UE will go back to DO. b) The bigger Qrxlevmin(SIB3) +ThreshServingLow, the quicker the UE is sent to 1xEV-DO to camp on to that system c) The lower Qrxlevmin(SIB3) +ThreshServingLow, the more the UE is retained in LTE in idle mode. d) Border cells must have different configured values than core cells.