3 Handover

05.083GPPRadio subsystem link controlTS

3.1 Overall process

The overall handover process is implemented in the MS, BSS and MSC. Measurement of radio subsystem downlink performance and signal levels received from surrounding cells, is made in the MS. These measurements are signalled to the BSS for assessment. The BSS measures the uplink performance for the MS being served and also assesses the signal level of interference on its idle traffic channels. Initial assessment of the measurements in conjunction with defined thresholds and handover strategy may be performed in the BSS. Assessment requiring measurement results from other BTS or other information resident in the MSC, may be performed in the MSC.

3GPP TS 03.09 describes the handover procedures to be used in PLMNs.

3.2 MS measurement procedure

A procedure shall be implemented in the MS by which it monitors the downlink RX signal level and quality from its serving cell and the downlink RX signal level and BSIC of surrounding BTS. The method of identification of surrounding BTS is described in subclause 7.2. The requirements for the MS measurements are given in subclause 8.1.

3.3 BSS measurement procedure

A procedure shall be implemented in the BSS by which it monitors the uplink RX signal level and quality from each MS being served by the cell. In the case of a multislot configuration the evaluation shall be performed on a timeslot per timeslot basis. A procedure shall be implemented by which the BSS monitors the levels of interference on its idle traffic channels.

3.4 Strategy

The handover strategy employed by the network for radio link control determines the handover decision that will be made based on the measurement results reported by the MS/BSS and various parameters set for each cell. Network directed handover may also occur for reasons other than radio link control, e.g. to control traffic distribution between cells. The exact handover strategies will be determined by the network operator, a detailed example of a basic overall algorithm appears in annex A. Possible types of handover are as follows:

Inter‑cell handover:

Intercell handover from the serving cell to a surrounding cell will normally occur either when the handover measurements show low RXLEV and/or RXQUAL on the current serving cell and a better RXLEV available from a surrounding cell, or when a surrounding cell allows communication with a lower TX power level. This typically indicates that an MS is on the border of the cell area.

Intercell handover may also occur from the DCCH on the serving cell to a TCH or multislot configuration on another cell during call establishment. This may be used as a means of providing successful call establishment when no suitable TCH resource is available on the current serving cell.

Inter‑cell handover between cells using different frequency bands is allowed for a multi band MS.

Inter‑cell handover between cells using different radio access technologies is allowed for a multi-RAT MS.

Intra‑cell handover:

Intra‑cell handover from one channel/timeslot configuration in the serving cell to another channel/timeslot configuration in the same cell will normally be performed if the handover measurements show a low RXQUAL, but a high RXLEV on the serving cell. This indicates a degradation of quality caused by interference even though the MS is situated within the serving cell. The intra‑cell handover should provide a channel with a lower level of interference. Intra‑cell handover can occur either to a timeslot on a new carrier or to a different timeslot on the same carrier. Similarly, intra‑cell handover may occur between different multislot configurations in the same cell. These multislot configurations may comprise different number of timeslots and may partly overlap.

Intra-cell handover from one of the bands of operation to another one is allowed for a multiband MS.

3GPP TS 08.08 defines the causes for handover that may be signalled from BSS to MSC.