Limiting the Holding Time Considering Emergency Calls in Mobile Cellular Phone Systems during Disasters

Kazunori OKADA  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E89-B   No.1   pp.57-65
Publication Date: 2006/01/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1093/ietcom/e89-b.1.57
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Network
Keyword: 
emergency communications,  emergency call,  holding time limit,  mobile cellular systems,  congestion control,  

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Summary: 
During devastating natural disasters, numerous people want to make calls to check on their families and friends in the stricken areas, but many call attempts on mobile cellular systems are blocked due to limited radio frequency resources. To reduce call blocking and enable as many people as possible to access mobile cellular systems, placing a limit on the holding time for each call has been studied [1],[2]. However, during a catastrophe, emergency calls, e.g., calls to fire, ambulance, or police services are also highly likely to increase and it is important that the holding time for these calls is not limited. A method of limiting call holding time to make provision for emergency calls while considering the needs of ordinary callers is proposed. In this method, called the HTL-E method, all calls are classified as emergency calls or other according to the numbers that are dialed or the terminal numbers that are given in advance to the particular terminals making emergency calls, and only the holding time of other calls is limited. The performance characteristics of the HTL-E method were evaluated using computer simulations. The results showed that it reduced the rates of blocking and forced call termination at handover considerably, without reducing the holding time for emergency calls. The blocking rate was almost equal for emergency and other calls. In addition, the HTL-E method handles fluctuations in the demand for emergency calls flexibly. A simple method of estimating the holding-time limit for other calls, which reduces the blocking rate for emergency and other calls to the normal rate for periods of increased call demand is also presented. The calculated results produced by this method agreed well with the simulation results.