Mobile WiMAX: Pre-handover optimization using hybrid base station selection procedure
Thesis DisciplineElectrical Engineering
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Engineering
A major consideration for mobile WiMAX is seamless handoff. The British English term for transferring a cellular call is handover whereas the Americans prefer to call it handoff. Cellular-based standards have the advantage of many years experience in handover for voice calls, while for broadband mobility in itself is no mean feat, and handover is still a challenge. Mobile IP, with "slow" handover, will be fine for web-browsing but not good enough for decent voice quality. Many services require the appearance of seamless connections (VoIP, VPNs, etc). Much of the complexity (and latency) in the cellular network is from maintaining these connections across cell boundaries. Handovers in wireless technologies have always been a challenging topic of discussion. According to the mobility framework of IEEE 802.16e, a Mobile Station (MSS) should scan the neighbouring Base Stations (BSs) for selecting the best BS for a potential handover. However, the standard does not specify the number of BSs to be scanned leaving room for unnecessary scanning. Moreover, prolonged scanning also interrupts data transmissions thus degrading the QoS of an ongoing connection. Reducing unnecessary scanning is an important issue. This thesis proposes a scheme to reduce the number of BSs to scan, thus improving the overall handover performance. Simulation results show that the proposed hybrid predictive BS selection scheme for potential scanning activities is more effective than the conventional IEEE 802.16e handover scheme in terms of handover delay and resource wastage. Before the actual handover process, there is scope of reducing the total number of iterations of message exchanges occurring between the mobile MSS, the SBS and the neighbouring BSs which are potential targets for handover. Simulations prove that it takes upto 700 ms to decide the target BS before initiating the handover process with it. There are multiple message exchanges to choose a set of potential target BSs from all the neighbouring BSs. A few more messages flow between the MSS, SBS and potential target BSs to choose the best candidate BS for handover. The many stages and messages waste time and could be reduced. This thesis discusses some ways to reduce them and backs it up with simulation results.