A Novel Network Architecture for C/U-Plane Staggered Handover in 5G Decoupled Heterogeneous Railway Wireless Systems

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Original languageEnglish
Article number7896598
Pages (from-to)3350-3362
Journal / PublicationIEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


Previously, we proposed a broadband fifth-generation (5G) control/user (C/U)-plane decoupled heterogeneous railway wireless system to meet the exponentially increasing capacity demands in railway. Nevertheless, service interruptions due to the handovers in overlapping registration areas are still challenging in railway wireless systems. How to achieve soft and fast handovers to overcome these challenges attracts intensive attention finally. In this paper, we propose a novel network architecture for 5G C/U-plane decoupled heterogeneous railway wireless systems to physically separate and stagger the C-plane and U-plane handovers. During the C-plane handover process that occurs between the macro-cells, the U-plane is always kept connected without any handover, which achieves non-interruptible soft handover. Moreover, since there are no handovers in the U-plane, the handover procedure is significantly simplified, thereby accelerating the handover process. Similarly, during the U-plane handover process, which happens between the small cells, the C-plane is kept connected all the time, saving the otherwise intensive C-plane handover signaling. Besides, the coordinated multi-point transmission and reception (CoMP) and bi-casting technologies are applied to establish the target U-plane connection ahead of cutting off the old one, so that no interruption occurs during the U-plane handover process. This paper demonstrates that the proposed handover schemes can greatly improve the handover performance.

Research Area(s)

  • 5G, C/U-plane, handover, network architecture, railway wireless systems

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