Skip to Main Content
The specification of the long term evolution (LTE) of 3G systems is currently ongoing in 3GPP with a target date of ready specification at the end of 2007. The evolved radio access network (RAN) involves a new radio interface based on OFDM technology and a radically different RAN architecture, where radio functionality is distributed into the base stations. The distributed nature of the RAN architecture calls for new radio control algorithms and procedures that operate in a distributed manner, including a distributed handover scheme as well. The most important aspects of the handover procedure in LTE has been already settled in 3GPP except a few details. In this paper we give an overview of the LTE intra-access handover procedure and evaluate its performance focusing on the user perceived performance aspects of it. We investigate the necessity of packet forwarding from a TCP throughput point of view, we analyse the problem of out of order packet delivery during handover and propose a simple solution for it. Finally, we investigate the impact of HARQ/ARQ state discard at handover on the radio efficiency. The results show that neither the user perceived performance nor the radio efficiency are compromised by the relocation based handover procedure of LTE.