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The use of soft-handoff may have a substantial impact on the downlink of cellular CDMA systems, by reducing its capacity. This depends heavily on the parameters used in the handoff procedure. In this paper we estimate this impact with several sets of parameter values. First we estimate the system capacity and the possible influence of soft-handoff in terms of the average number of base stations simultaneously in contact to a mobile station. We then proceed to determine more precisely the effect of particular handoff algorithms and parameters. An analytical solution for a general CDMA system is derived and the IS-95 handoff procedure is simulated in order to estimate the effective traffic carried by the system.
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