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While there are challenges associated with building any new wireless network, co

nstructing the Long Term Evolution (LTE) network comes with a bushel of its own
issues.One of these challenges is managing neighbor cells. This is a tough task
even for traditional mobile networks, and it becomes even harder as new mobile t
echnologies roll out with 2G and 3G cells already exist. These neighbor cells ar
e firmly in place and not going anywhere. LTE must find a way to deal with the c
ells, properly, without making the network and/or user suffer.
To help address this, and to stay in line with 3GPP specifications, network oper
ators are turning to Automatic Neighbour Relation (ANR) functionality. ANR relie
ves the burden of manually managing Neighbor Relations (NR). According to LteWor
ld, the ANR function lives in the eNB and manages the Neighbour Relation Table (
NRT). Within this table are many facets and branches that help deal with these n
eighbor cells.
The neighbour detection function is responsible for finding new neighbours and a
dding them to the NRT. The Neighbour Removal Function removes NRs. Both the Neig
hbour Detection Function and the Neighbour Removal Function are implementation s
pecific.
An existing Neighbour cell Relation (NR) from a source cell to a target cell mea
ns that eNB controlling the source cell knows the ECGI/CGI and Physical Cell Ide
ntifier (PCI) of the target cell and has an entry in the NRT for the source cell
identifying the target cell.
The ANR function relies on cells broadcasting their identity on global level, E-U
TRAN Cell Global Identifier (ECGI) and allows O&M to manage the NRT. O&M can add
and delete NRs. It can also change the attributes of the NRT. The O&M system is
informed about changes in the NRT. According to LteWorld, this is accomplished w
ith Intra-LTE/frequency ANR and Inter-RAT/Inter-frequency ANR.