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Chapter One:


1.1 Background of the study

Mobile network operators deal with two issues: high customer demand for mobile data and poor signal quality within buildings. In mobile communication, it is estimated that nearly two-thirds of calls and more than 90% of data usage occur indoors (Zhang & De la Roche, 2010), and a Cisco study found that global mobile data traffic will increase nearly 11-fold between 2013 and 2018 (Cisco, 2014).

This rapid increase in mobile data activity has prompted the development of novel new technologies and cellular topologies to fulfil these needs (Andrews et al., 2012).To accomplish high data rate communications, bring the transmitter and receiver closer together to increase system capacity. Femtocell technology is one example of such an idea.

A femtocell, also known as a home base station or femtocell access point (FAP), is a user-installed, low-cost, low-power base station that improves indoor voice and data reception (Chandrasekhar et al., 2008).

Compared to microcells and picocells, femtocells are implemented in interior areas such as homes, offices, shopping malls, and airports to enhance mobile network coverage and capacity (Li et al., 2016).

The FAP is split into two types based on its capacity and number of users. They are divided into home FAPs, which can support 3-5 users, and corporate FAPs, which can support 8-16 users (Shanavas et al., 2013).

The femtocell uses a licenced spectrum and connects to the operator’s network via a broadband link, such as DSL, cable modem, or a separate radio frequency backhaul channel (Mahmud et al., 2013).

According to Rose et al. (2011), femtocells operate with a maximum transmission power of 20 dBm, which determines their coverage area. It also influences the interference the user encounters, the user equipment (UE) service off rate, the changeover procedure, and signals (Shbat & Tuzlukov, 2012).The primary distinction between a macrocell and a femtocell is their different backhauls.

The femtocell backhaul is just an interface to the operator’s core network over the public internet network, but the macrocell backhaul is a dedicated connection to the core network (Shbat & Tuzlukov, 2012).

Both users and mobile network operators benefit greatly from the deployment of femtocells. For the user, using a femtocell in the home provides significantly higher coverage and capacity; also, the battery life of a UE is improved because to the low power radiation (Ali-Yahiya, 2011).

The cost of building additional equipment to boost capacity is significantly lowered for the network operator because there is no additional expense associated with maintaining and operating the femtocells. It simply gives a cost-effective method of increasing capacity and macrocell reliability.

Despite these benefits, deploying femtocell technology presents obstacles. These include interference control, resource allocation, and smooth handover (Li et al., 2016).

Cell handover is regarded as one of the most difficult issues in the Long Term Evolution-Advanced (LTE-A) macrocell-femtocell network (Xenakis, 2014). This is for the following reasons:

a) Unplanned femtocell deployment b) Small cell radius c) Dense network layout d) Use of access control techniques.

Inconsistent handovers reduce user performance and cause interruptions (Becvar & Mach, 2013).

1.2 Motivation.

In recent years, mobile network operators have continuously upgraded and expanded their network infrastructure to fulfil demand and establish new revenue sources.

There are associated hurdles to achieving these objectives. More specifically, the unintended disruption of normal network operation.

Furthermore, with the growth of data-intensive applications and smartphone devices, femtocells have become a popular alternative for increasing capacity in locations with high user demand and filling gaps in the macro cell network.

1.3 Statement of the Research Problem

When femtocells are densely deployed, issues such as limited system capacity, increased signalling overhead (Badri et al., 2013), and poor service quality develop. Most of these issues are caused by the frequent handovers that occur as a result of the femtocell’s small cell size and the speed of the UE.

1.4 Aims and Objectives

The goal of this research is to create a modified handover decision algorithm that employs the LET mobility prediction technique to address the issue of frequent handover. The research aims are as follows:

a) Replicate and apply the conventional and inter-femtocell handover determination algorithm of Rajabizadeh and Abouei (2015).
b) Create a modified handover decision algorithm with the LET approach.

c) Compare the performance of the modified handover decision algorithm to the classic handover decision algorithm in terms of the number of handovers and the duration between handovers.

1.5 Scope of the dissertation

This research looks at handover in an LTE macrocell-femtocell heterogeneous network. The fundamentals of handover and the LTE network in general are covered. Previous studies that addressed the handover problem are examined.

Furthermore, the approaches used to solve the problem are explored, and lastly, the performance of the suggested method is assessed using the number of handovers and average time before handover metrics.

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