Light Reading

Self-Organizing Networks & LTE

Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
7/8/2008
50%
50%

The idea of self-configuring, self-optimizing wireless networks is not a new one, but as the mobile industry moves toward commercialization of next-generation "4G" systems, the ability to automate the management processes has emerged as a key technology requirement.

The idea is to minimize the lifecycle cost of running a network by eliminating manual configuration of equipment at the time of deployment, right through to dynamically optimizing radio network performance during operation. The ultimate aim is to reduce the unit cost and retail price of wireless data services.

The belief among operators is that 3G represents a missed opportunity to automate network processes, and that much of the ongoing cost to configure and manage Node Bs, radio network controllers, and core network elements is accounted for by the need to allocate expensive technicians to mundane, yet cumbersome, tasks.

Operators are thus increasingly vocal in their determination not to forfeit the benefits of automation in the move to Long Term Evolution (LTE) and are working to enshrine self-organizing network (SON) principles in vendor roadmaps and the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards process. This is being done most notably through the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) initiative, which has produced a White Paper on "Use Cases Related to Self Organizing Network." More formally, SONs as they relate to UTRAN LTE are the subject of a 3GPP Technical Report issued earlier this year, entitled "Self-Configuring and Self-Optimizing Network Use Cases and Solutions."

SONs are also required domain expertise for hotshot executives in the CTO office and increasingly a feature of technology conference keynotes, as leading operators evangelize the message to the wider technology community.

At Light Reading's own Backhaul Strategies for Mobile Operators: Europe event last week, Arnuad Cauvin of Orange SA , representing the NGMN as backhaul project manager, spoke about the importance of self-optimizing backhaul for converged LTE/3G/GSM networks. Elsewhere, Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) has been vocal on the subject with Kenny Graham, head of new technologies and innovation, highlighting the crucial role of SONs for metro-zone LTE deployments (see Vodafone Dreams of Metro Femto.)

T-Mobile International AG , arguably the operator pushing hardest for SONs through its work in the 3GPP and NGMN, is equally forthright. Emin Gurdenli, T-Mobile UK's director of technology, recently described network automation as critical to investment in next-generation wireless technologies at a London conference.

That's all good, of course. But is the SON concept attainable in the near to medium term? Or are operators getting ahead of themselves? And is the never-ending drive to cut the cost of infrastructure really compatible with the R&D investment required to make SONs viable?

What I'm hearing from the vendor community privately is that there are some relatively easy kills to be had, but operators are overly optimistic when it comes to the hard stuff.

2G and 3G femtocells, which are unmanaged by definition, are likely to be the first area in which SON techniques are applied commercially. And there are significant improvements to be made in terms of auto-configuration of new base stations at site setup, as well as to network management systems to automatically reconfigure live networks, instead of having to manually re-tune the network each time a small change is required.

Taking the SON concept to its logical conclusion, however, and expecting self-organizing, self-optimizing radio networks in multi-vendor environments, in multi-layer topologies, to work in a plug-and-play fashion – that's challenging, to say the least.

— Gabriel Brown, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
More Blogs from Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Enterprises increasingly realize that in order to run their businesses economically they need to fundamentally change ways in which they operate their businesses in the connected IP world.
There's plenty of activity in the emerging G.fast broadband technology sector, but will it come to anything?
Here are some steps that service providers could take to boost the reach, awareness and success of their multiscreen video ventures.
Telecom operators are deploying new technologies in their data center environments to reduce costs and increase revenues.
The cloud debate has moved on to the network capabilities needed to meet customers' demands, with SDN and NFV at the heart of discussions.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Interviews
The New Wave of IP + Optical Integration

11|21|14   |   04:29   |   (7) comments


At the Alcatel-Lucent Technology Symposium, Heavy Reading senior analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how SDN has reshaped the discussion around packet and optical integration.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Highlights at BBWF 2014

11|20|14   |   3:40   |   (1) comment


Broadband World Forum is one of the world's largest telecoms, media and technology events with over 7,800 senior executives from across the globe converging on Amsterdam every year to identify the Next Big Thing. BBWF is an exciting place to meet the entire industry under one roof and identify the latest in network innovation, service optimization and customer ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How Will BCMS Stimulate Margin for Broadband Operators?

11|19|14   |   6:52   |   (0) comments


In BBWF 2014, Liu Shuqing emphasizes the value of FMC 2.0 based full service experience by throwing light on the BCMS solution. The underlying principle of this innovative technique is to create network robustness and driving network from connection oriented to ACE – BAND oriented infrastructure, in which applications, cloud, and user experiences will be an asset ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
SingleFAN3.0: Better Connected Experience

11|19|14   |   3:06   |   (1) comment


At the BBWF 2014, David Hu, the VP of Huawei Access Network Product Line, talked about the future of access networks – SingleFAN3.0: faster broadband, wider coverage, and smarter connection.
LRTV Interviews
Basil Alwan Interview: The Road to Cloud

11|19|14   |   09:09   |   (0) comments


Alcatel-Lucent's head of IP and Transport talks about the migration towards a web-like networking environment, the impact of the cloud, SDN and NFV, and the yet-to-be-announced FP4 chip.
LRTV Documentaries
FairPoint Makes a Fair Point About Analytics

11|19|14   |   1:56   |   (1) comment


The US-based communication service provider gets to grips with advanced analytics, tackling data and breaking down the silos within its own business.
LRTV Documentaries
Analytics Lets C Spire Get to Know Subs

11|19|14   |   3:01   |   (2) comments


It's all about the data for US operator C Spire as it uses analytics to personalize its customer service down to individual subscribers.
LRTV Interviews
Nuage Branches Out With SDN: CEO Interview

11|17|14   |   9:32   |   (0) comments


Sunil Khandekar, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent's SDN-focused unit Nuage Networks, talks about the opportunities and challenges of breaking out of the data center into wide-area networks.
Light Reedy
Telecom Analytics Grows Up

11|14|14   |   1:15   |   (4) comments


The big data analytics debate has moved on from a year ago, with some experts suggesting it's no longer a technology challenge.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Compass

11|14|14   |   3:17   |   (1) comment


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Shuo Yang, Huawei Principal Cloud Infrastructure Architect introduced Huawei Compass, the software tool for solving customers' problems on the journey of OpenStack Cloud.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Cloud Strategy in European Region

11|14|14   |   2:56   |   (1) comment


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Dr. Gotz, CTO of Huawei IT in European Region introduced Huawei's cloud strategy in European region.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Contribution on OpenStack

11|14|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Dennis Gu, Huawei Chief Architect of Cloud Computing introduced the relationship between OpenStack and cloud computing, and Huawei's contribution on OpenStack.
Upcoming Live Events
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 8-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 12, 2015, Atlanta, GA
April 14, 2015, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Irish Telecom outlines the rise of VoIP technology, including its adoption within businesses and their perception of its quality.
Hot Topics
Bell Labs Chief Slams 'Toy' Networks
Robert Clark, 11/19/2014
$38.3M: Ain't That a Kik in the SMS
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 11/20/2014
Do You Have a 2020 Vision?
Dennis Mendyk, Vice President of Research, Heavy Reading, 11/21/2014
The New Wave of IP + Optical Integration
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 11/21/2014
Google, AT&T, BT Unite on Network Data Models
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 11/20/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed