Explain various types of handoffs in GSM network.

This question appears in Mumbai University > Mobile communication and computing subject

Marks: 5 M

Year: May 2015

1 Answer

• Handoff (or handover) is a control process initiated when a mobile moves from its current cell to its neighboring cell.

• A user of a mobile phone will be moving continuously. In such a situation, the mobile connection should also remain intact especially if the user is currently using the phone.

• This transfer of connection from one cell to another should be quick and in such a manner that user doesn’t actually realize that a handoff has happened.

• There are four basic types of handoffs in GSM network:

  1. Intra-cell handover:
  • Such a kind of handover is performed to optimize the traffic load in the cell or to improve quality of a connection by changing carrier frequency.

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2.Inter-cell handover:

  • It is also known as Intra-BSC handover.
  • Here the mobile moves from one cell to another but remains within the same BSC (Base station controller).
  • Here the BSC handles the handover process enter image description here

3.Inter-BSC handover:

  • It is also called as Intra-MSC handover.
  • As BSC can control only a limited number of cells, we might usually need to transfer a mobile from one BSC to another BSC.
  • Here the MSC handles the handover process.

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4.Inter-MSC handover:

  • It occurs when a mobile moves from one MSC region to another MSC.
  • MSC cover a large area. It can be imagined as a handover from Maharashtra MSC to Gujarat MSC while travelling.

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