Partial Handoff in MIMO-OFDM Cellular Systems

Computing & Wireless : Wireless and Communications

Available for non-exclusive licensing


  • Robert Heath, Jr., Ph.D. , Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Sunghyun Cho , Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology
  • Chwan-ming Wang , Electrical and Computer Engineering

Background/unmet need

MIMO technology allows high data-rate transmission to a single user using spatial multiplexing techniques, space-time coding, and other methods known in the art. In a wireless cellular network, when the mobile receiver is moving from one cell to another, multiple transmit antennas provide a unique opportunity to increase system performance during handoff by using antennas from both base stations of the adjacent cells. The problem addressed has to do with the optimization of these handoff mechanisms.

Invention Description

To achieve optimal performance during handoff, the mobile receiver can be linked to antennas from both the base stations of the adjacent cells (partial handoff). Unlike conventional systems that use soft handoff, potentially different data streams are transmitted to obtain the gains of MIMO communication. This method, with its provision for partial handoffs in MIMO cell systems, allows for optimal performance; its strengths come from many areas, including the measurement process, the antenna selection process, and the handoff execution process.


  • Unique opportunity to increase system performance during handoff
  • In addition to general MIMO systems benefits (including substantial capacity, quality, and performance improvements), support of more antennas and larger bandwidths can be achieved.
  • Effect of transmit antenna correlation is reduced by separating transmit antennas as far as possible.


    Uses antennas from both the base stations of adjacent cellsComposed of: mobile stations, base station, base controller station, data backbone, gateway, external networkPartial handoff works by making a tradeoff between large-scale path loss and spatial correlation.

Market potential/applications

Wireless networking and communication systems. Developed jointly with the Samsung Applied Institute of Technology

Development Stage

Proof of concept

IP Status