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Overlaid Cellular System Design with Cell Selection Criteria for Mobile Wireless Users

Alagan S. Anpalagan and Irene Katzela (alagan,irene@comm.toronto.edu) ECE Department University of Toronto

As the cells shrink and mobility increases in PCS, an increased number of hando occurs overloading the signaling network. One major motivation to employ microcell/macrocell overlays is to increase the capacity without increasing the hando rates. In this paper, a cellular system consisting of two tiers with microcell in the lower-tier and multiple levels of (macro)cells in the upper-tier, is considered to separately serve mobiles with di erent speeds. The dimension of the upper-tier cell is approximately derived based on the mean velocity of mobiles the cell intends to serve. Finally, the e ect of misusing the upper-tier resources is brie y analyzed in terms of each tier call blocking rate.
Key words: microcell, macrocell, two-tier system, mobility-based design, cell assignment criteria

divided into a large number of microcells which are overlaid by the conventional macrocells. This hierarchy is needed to serve mobile users with di erent service requirements and varying speeds. As the cellular user population continues to expand, there is a need to maximize the number of subscribers in a system while keeping the network control associated with the hando s at an acceptable level. To achieve the con icting goals of maximizing network capacity, which implies the use of small cells, and minimizing the network control, which favors large cells, a two-tier system architecture was proposed and studied recently 4] 5]. Fig. 1 shows a macrocell consisting of several microcells. A cellular service provider has to serve both

1 Overlaid Cellular Radio System

The growing demand for wire-free mobile communications along with the scarce radio spectrum have led to the development of the cellular concept 1]. In a cellular system, the coverage area is divided into cells, each with a base station that communicates with mobiles, and also with other base stations through the mobile switching centers. The e cient use of available frequency channels is achieved by using low-power transmitters and allowing frequency reuse at much smaller distances, thus reducing co-channel interference. Recent and rapid advances in radio systems technology promise the universal personal communication services (PCS) 2] 3] anywhere anytime. One of the important characteristics of PCS is higher signaling data rate resulting from the high user mobility. In PCS, to increase the capacity, the service area can be

macrocell macrocell




Figure 1: Two-tier system (microcells overlaid by a macrocell): (a) Physical layout (b) Regular homogeneous hexagonal layout. low- and high-mobility users within the integrated cellular system. Fast mobiles will have a high probability of dropped calls due to the excessive hando delay. One solution is to use an umbrella of macrocells for fast mobiles and microcells for slow mobiles. Low-mobility users (e.g., pedestrians) undergo hando when crossing microcell boundaries while highmobility users (e.g., cars on the highways) undergo

only when crossing macrocell boundaries. This approach keeps the rate of hando low in both tiers. In a two-tier system, a mobile can be assigned to either microcell (in lower-tier) or macrocell (in upper-tier). The main di erence between previously reported work 4] 5] and our work is that we consider having multiple levels of cells in the macro layer whereas other approaches reported in the literature had only one level of cell in the macro layer. This paper is organized as follows. In Section 2, we introduce and analyze a two-tier (with multiple levels in the upper-tier) cellular system to serve mobiles with di erent speeds. The cell radius for di erent levels in the upper-tier are determined in relation to the cell radius of the lower-tier. The careful usage of the upper-tier resources is also emphasized through a simple example. Finally, Section 3 concludes with the summary of this paper.



4 3 2 1

Macro Layer


TIER # 3




.. ..


.. ..

Micro Layer



.. ..


.. ..

U: Upper Tier

L: Lower Tier

: handoff direction


Figure 2: (a) Strictly Hierarchical multi-tier cellular system with 4 tiers (b) Multi-(macrocell)level cellular system with 2 tiers. ? In our study, we address the rst two questions for a two-tier system with multiple levels of cells in the upper-tier. For all velocity based hando algorithms, velocity estimation is needed. They can be either mobileassisted base-estimated or mobile-estimated. We assume that one appropriate velocity estimation method is employed and the proposed architecture uses the estimated mobile speed in assigning the mobiles to the cells. Reference 6] discusses velocity estimation methods that are based on level crossing rate, zero crossing rate and covariance approximation. In the following sections, we analyze the design of two-tier multi-level cellular system. Depending on the (expected) average mobile speed during the call holding period, a mobile user can be assigned to one of several levels in a cellular system. Mobile users are classi ed into di erent categories based on typical user speeds - which also determines the number of levels in the upper-tier. Then, the required size of the cells with respect to the microcell size is determined for each category. We also investigate the impact on the call blocking rate at each tier when a slow mobile takes up the upper-tier channels, given that the upper-tier resources are limited 1 .

2 Two-tier Multi-level Cellular System

We consider a cellular system with more than one cell level in the upper-tier. This architecture is an example of a two-tier system with micro- and macrocell layers. However, at the macrocell layer, there are multiple levels of cells, one for each type of users. At the microcell layer, there is only one level to serve slower mobiles. A mobile can be assigned to either lower-tier(microcell layer) or, to one of the levels of cells in the upper-tier (macrocell layer). No mobile is handed up or down within the multiple levels in the upper-tier. Hando occurs between upper- and lowertier only. This limitation is necessary not to incur additional complexity in managing the hando s and ping-pong e ect between cell levels in the upper-tier. In essence, this scheme is not strictly hierarchical. Fig. 2 illustrates the concept of Strictly Hierarchical (used in most literature) and (the proposed) Two-tier Multi-level system. Conceptually, in our approach, we add more levels within the 2nd tier of a two-tier hierarchical system. By having more levels in the macro layer, we expect that the number of hando s be decreased and the service quality be increased. In the following discussions, we refer to macrocell as any one of the levels of cells in the upper-tier and microcell to a cell in the lower-tier. The key architectural questions in a two-tier cellular system are (a) which type of calls need to be assigned to macrocell and which to microcell ? (b) how to group microcells to form a macrocell ? (c) how to share limited radio resources among two levels of cells

2.1 Mobile and System Parameters

Let us de ne the following mobile and system parameters. r: radius of a microcell R: radius of a macrocell t^ : average call holding time = the time between h the call arrival time and call completion time
1 The larger the area where a channel set is used, the smaller the capacity and spectrum e ciency are. Hence, the higher the tier is the lower the number of channels assigned in an e cient cellular system.

time between cell move-in time and the move-out time v : mean mobile velocity = average distance trav^ elled in a second x : fraction of calls made outside the originating cell H : average number of attempted hando s in a cell Hmax : maximum number of hando s that can be handled by a microcell controller : average number of active calls per second in a microcell The mobile users with speeds ranging up to 120 Km/h are considered and classi ed based on their mean speeds as follows. Classi ed types are, A: v < 10 Km/h (e.g., pedestrians) ^ B: 10 Km/h < v < 40 Km/h (e.g., local tra c) ^ C: 40 Km/h < v < 70 Km/h (e.g., highway peak ^ tra c) D: 70 Km/h < v < 120 Km/h (e.g., highway o ^ peak tra c) We consider one-dimensional system in the analysis because this basic system is easy to analyze and can provide some insights into the proposed architecture. Also, there are one-dimensional practical systems such as highway systems in use. We assume that the mobiles are uniformly distributed in the cell and to travel in straight lines inside either microcell or macrocell. Any variation in the direction of travel or velocity can be incorporated into average velocity. The mean speed of the mobile and the travel length distribution are of importance.

t^ : average residual time in a microcell = the r

r d

Figure 3: Mobile travelling in a circular cell. cell and has a uniform distribution with probability density function f ( ) = 2 : Since d = 2rsin( ), 4r Z =2 sin( )d = 4r= D= (1) Hence, the average residual time is, 4r 5r t^ = (2) r v 4^ ^ v r If t^ > t^ (= 4v ), then a hando is required from a h r ^ microcell to another. Therefore, average number of hando s expected from a microcell to another taking into consideration of fraction of calls made outside the originating microcell, v t^ 4^ ^ h xt (3) H= x^ tr 5r h Assuming average call holding time of 120s in mobile environments, H = 96 vx=r ^

2.3 Upper-tier Cell Size

We assume that upper-tier base station controller can handle any number of hando s. The maximum number of hando requests that can be handled by any microcell base station is, on the average, Hmax. The mobiles have the maximum velocity of 10 Km/h ^ in the microcells. Therefore, since 96 r vx Hmax , the maximum radius of the microcell is, r = 960 x=Hmax (4) For other mobile categories, we estimate the maximum cell radius so that the hando -processing in all the base stations is equal. The analysis shows that they are approximately 4r ; 7r and 12r for mobile types B, C and D respectively. In the above analysis and the computation of the radius for di erent cells, we made simple assumptions to get approximate value of the macrocell size. However, the same idea can be used in the extensive analysis of the complete problem.

2.2 Relationship: Mobile Velocity, Cell Radius and Average Number of Hando s/Cell
For simplicity in the mathematical analysis, a cellular system with homogeneous circular cells is considered. Our goal is to obtain approximate macrocell sizes for back-of-the-envelope design. Let us consider a mobile traveling through a microcell as shown in Fig. 3, where 0 < D < 2r and 0 < < =2. Random variable D denotes the total distance travelled in a

2.4 A Simple Numerical Example

A numerical example is given to compare two design approaches: (I) Two-tier Two-level (conventional) System and (II) Two-tier Four-level (novel) System. Suppose that mobiles in a system have the following discrete probability density function of speeds: v1 = 3m/s, v2 = 5 m/s, v3 = 10 m/s, v4 = 20 m/s and v5 = 30 m/s with the probabilities shown in Table 1 for di erent types of mobiles. We assume that Types A B C D

PDFs for speeds 0.2 0.3 0.2 0.0


0.8 0.4 0.0 0.0

0.0 0.2 0.4 0.1


0.0 0.1 0.3 0.3


0.0 0.0 0.1 0.6


v (m/s) ^

^ d(m) 408 833 1666 3000

3.4 6.7 13.0 25.0

upper-tiers. However, one should note that implementing such a hypothetical idea in real network is not an easy task at the present time. Furthermore, if a mobile is unnecessarily served by a macrocell while an underlaid microcell can provide the required coverage, the system should be able to identify such a call and hand down that call to the corresponding microcell. The important requirement here is to properly identify if a user is slow moving (or fast moving) and to continue to monitor its speed - which will add more complexity to the system. However, our aim is only to investigate the impact on call blocking rate at each tier when a slow mobile takes up the upper-tier channels, given that the upper-tier resources are limited. From Table 1, type A mobile has a mean speed of 3:4 m/s and travels 408m in the average call holding time of 120s. Let us assume that this particular mobile has been erroneously assigned to a upper-tier cell. Level # of # of Pblocking Number channels/cell hando s Lower-1 36 2 0.005 Upper-2 10 1 0.07 Upper-3 6 1 0.15 Upper-4 3 1 0.2 Table 2: Call blocking probability at 65% load with a particular channel partition among tiers. Let us consider a simple cellular system (AMPS) for illustrative purpose. Of the total available channels for a cellular operator in an area, each microcell is allocated 36 channels with the cluster size of 7. The number of channels allocated to the three cells in the upper-tier are shown in Table 2. The upper-tiers do not use the frequency reuse. The call blocking at 65% channel usage for each tier is shown in the table. This illustrates that, taking away one channel costs a lot in the upper-tiers than in the lower-tier. Though it is intuitive, we want to make a point about utilizing the upper-tier resources very e ciently. By assigning a slow (type A) mobile to the microcell, it will experience 2 hando s compared to just 1, if assigned to other tiers. However, call blocking probability increases signi cantly in the latter case as evident from the Table 2.

Table 1: An Example: Discrete PDFs with average distance travelled. slow mobiles (type A) are covered by microcells and others (B, C and D) by upper-tier (macro)cells. The travelled distance is based on the assumption that the call duration is 120s for all the mobiles. In both approaches, we assume that the microcell has a diameter of 200m. The corresponding upper-tier cell radius are 800m, 1400m and 2400m for type B, C and D respectively. These dimensions are based on the earlier computation. In Approach I, macrocell radius is taken, for example, to be 1400 m. Since the mobile can be anywhere in the cell at the time of the cell assignment, with the uniform distribution assumption for mobiles, a mobile will, on the average, cross the origination cell half the radius. We are interested in the number of hando s for nonpedestrian type tra c. In Approach II, the number of hando s required for B, C and D types of mobiles are 1 each. If all the mobiles are served by a two-tier twolevel system, the number of hando s are 1, 2 and 3 for types B, C and D respectively. This simple example demonstrates the need for more levels in the upper-tier of the cellular system.

2.5 E ect of Assigning Slow Users to Upper-tier

We have seen that the fast mobiles need to be encouraged to use the upper-tiers to reduce the number of hando s. Also, those who tend to increase their speeds over a threshold are to be steered towards the

3 Concluding Remarks
We have analyzed two important problems encountered in overlaid cellular systems. They are (i) the number of cell levels in the upper-tier and their dimensions and (ii) the impact on the call blocking rate when a slow mobile user is assigned to upper-tiers that have limited resources. From pedestrians to mobiles in high-speed highway tra c, we approximately determined the cell size relative to a basic microcell keeping the hando load at each base station equal. We compared the performance of a two-level two-tier cellular system with four-level two-tier system speeds. Through simple numerical examples, we computed the number of hando s that would occur in the four-level cellular system and call blocking rate that result from erroneous assignment of calls to cells. Proper classi cation of mobile calls, accurate estimation of mean speed of mobiles, determination of the cellular hierarchy with number of tiers and cell levels, and e cient partition of available channels to di erent tiers and levels are the key ingredients in serving the mobile population cost e ectively to provide with the wireline quality of service.

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