A mobility management strategy for UMTS

Shun Ren Yang, Yi-Bing Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) utilizes a three-level location management strategy to reduce the net costs of location update and paging in the packet-switched service domain. Within a communication session, a mobile station (MS) is tracked at the cell level during packet transmission. In the idle period of an ongoing session, the MS is tracked at the UTRAN registration area (URA) level to avoid frequent cell updates while still keeping the radio connection. If the MS is not in any communication session, the MS is tracked at the routing area (RA) level. The inactivity counter mechanism was proposed in 3GPP 25.331 to determine when to switch between the three location tracking modes. In this mechanism, two inactivity counters are used to count the numbers of cell updates and URA updates in an idle period between two packet transmissions. If the number of cell updates reaches a threshold K1, the MS is switched from the cell tracking to the URA tracking. After that, if the number of URA updates reaches a thresh-old K2, the MS is tracked at the RA level. This paper proposes simulation model to investigate the performance of the inactivity counter mechanism. Our study provides guidelines for K1 and K2 selection to achieve lower net costs of location update and paging.

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