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User-oriented mobility management in cellular wireless networks




Alsaeedy, Alaa A. R., author
Chong, Edwin, advisor
Morton, Jade, committee member
Luo, J. Rockey, committee member
Atadero, Rebecca, committee member

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Mobility Management (MM) in wireless mobile networks is a vital process to keep an individual User Equipment (UE) connected while moving within the network coverage area—this is required to keep the network informed about the UE's mobility (i.e., location changes). The network must identify the exact serving cell of a specific UE for the purpose of data-packet delivery. The two MM procedures that are necessary to localize a specific UE and deliver data packets to that UE are known as Tracking Area Update (TAU) and Paging, which are burdensome not only to the network resources but also UE's battery—the UE and network always initiate the TAU and Paging, respectively. These two procedures are used in current Long Term Evolution (LTE) and its next generation (5G) networks despite the drawback that it consumes bandwidth and energy. Because of potentially very high-volume traffic and increasing density of high-mobility UEs, the TAU/Paging procedure incurs significant costs in terms of the signaling overhead and the power consumption in the battery-limited UE. This problem will become even worse in 5G, which is expected to accommodate exceptional services, such as supporting mission-critical systems (close-to-zero latency) and extending battery lifetime (10 times longer). This dissertation examines and discusses a variety of solution schemes for both the TAU and Paging, emphasizing a new key design to accommodate 5G use cases. However, ongoing efforts are still developing new schemes to provide seamless connections to the ever-increasing density of high-mobility UEs. In this context and toward achieving 5G use cases, we propose a novel solution to solve the MM issues, named gNB-based UE Mobility Tracking (gNB-based UeMT). This solution has four features aligned with achieving 5G goals. First, the mobile UE will no longer trigger the TAU to report their location changes, giving much more power savings with no signaling overhead. Instead, second, the network elements, gNBs, take over the responsibility of Tracking and Locating these UE, giving always-known UE locations. Third, our Paging procedure is markedly improved over the conventional one, providing very fast UE reachability with no Paging messages being sent simultaneously. Fourth, our solution guarantees lightweight signaling overhead with very low Paging delay; our simulation studies show that it achieves about 92% reduction in the corresponding signaling overhead. To realize these four features, this solution adds no implementation complexity. Instead, it exploits the already existing LTE/5G communication protocols, functions, and measurement reports. Our gNB-based UeMT solution by design has the potential to deal with mission-critical applications. In this context, we introduce a new approach for mission-critical and public-safety communications. Our approach aims at emergency situations (e.g., natural disasters) in which the mobile wireless network becomes dysfunctional, partially or completely. Specifically, this approach is intended to provide swift network recovery for Search-and-Rescue Operations (SAROs) to search for survivors after large-scale disasters, which we call UE-based SAROs. These SAROs are based on the fact that increasingly almost everyone carries wireless mobile devices (UEs), which serve as human-based wireless sensors on the ground. Our UE-based SAROs are aimed at accounting for limited UE battery power while providing critical information to first responders, as follows: 1) generate immediate crisis maps for the disaster-impacted areas, 2) provide vital information about where the majority of survivors are clustered/crowded, and 3) prioritize the impacted areas to identify regions that urgently need communication coverage. UE-based SAROs offer first responders a vital tool to prioritize and manage SAROs efficiently and effectively in a timely manner.


2020 Spring.
Includes bibliographical references.

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LTE and 5G systems
mobility management and tracking
tracking area update
mission-critical communication
cellular wireless networks
public safety communication


Associated Publications