Field Experimental Evaluation of Mobile Terminal Velocity Estimation Based on Doppler Spread Detection for Mobility Control in Heterogeneous Cellular Networks

Sourabh MAITI  Manabu MIKAMI  Kenji HOSHINO  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E100-B   No.2   pp.252-261
Publication Date: 2017/02/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1587/transcom.2016WSP0009
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Antenna and Propagation Technologies Contributing to Realization of Next Generation Wireless Systems)
velocity estimation,  heterogeneous cellular network,  inter-layer handover,  

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To deal with the recent explosion of mobile data traffic, heterogeneous cellular networks, in which a large number of small cells are deployed in a macro-cell coverage area, are considered to be a promising approach. However, when a mobile terminal (MT) traveling at a high velocity moves through several small cells in a short period of time, the frequent handovers (HOs) that occur between small cells lead to a deterioration of user quality of experience. To avoid such HO problems, while improving the network capacity in the heterogeneous cellular network, it is effective to introduce an inter-layer HO control policy where MTs traveling at high velocities are connected to the macro-cell layer to reduce the number of HOs and MTs traveling at low velocities or which are stationary are connected to the small-cell layer for offloading traffic from the macro-cells to the small-cells. However, to realize such inter-layer HO control policy in the heterogeneous cellular network, it is crucial to estimate the velocity of each MT. Due to the technological constraints of MT velocity estimation based on the Global Positioning Systems (GPS), we focus on MT velocity estimation algorithms which do not require information provided by GPS. First, we discuss the issues of the existing MT velocity estimation algorithms and then focus on a MT velocity estimation algorithm based on a conventional Doppler spread detection using Fast Fourier Transform (FFT). Since few studies have evaluated Doppler spread based MT velocity estimation techniques for practical communication systems in actual radio propagation environments, we implement the MT velocity estimation algorithm to a Long Term Evolution (LTE) based experimental system, and perform its field experiments. Based on these experimental results we also evaluate the high or low velocity decision accuracy for the inter-layer HO control policy and show that good decision accuracy is achieved in both line-of-sight (LOS) and non-line-of-sight (NLOS) outdoor propagation environment. These results show its feasibility for practical mobile communication systems in actual radio propagation environments.