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The SON solutions for 3G and 4G networks: deployment options and business benefits

  • November 2013
  • -
  • Analysys Mason
  • -
  • 22 pages

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Self-optimising network (SON) features & automate some network planning, configuration and optimisation processes, thereby reducing opex & and the time to make network changes and perform upgrades. This & Viewpoint & discusses the benefits that SON features can bring to 3G, LTE and small-cell networks.

Executive summary: SON reduces operational complexity and costs for next-generation 3G and 4G mobile networks, as well as HetNets

- Self-organising network (SON) features are designed to address the operational issues of managing complex mobile networks by automating three key areas.
- Configuration: New cells automatically connect to the OAM system, downloads configuration and initiates connections to neighbours.
- Optimisation: Automatic co-ordination among cells to set the best parameters for prevailing network conditions.
- Healing: Initiate topology changes and individual configuration to mitigate the impact of failures on service.
- This applies to 3G and 4G networks equally, although the benefits of SON are different for each technology.
- 3G benefits are primarily in the area of power efficiency (43%) and coverage and capacity optimisation (CCO) (35%) because older 3G systems are inefficient.
- 4G benefits are primarily in the area of automatic neighbour relations (ANR) (at 74%) and power efficiency (19%).
- Radio interference management requirements increase as the number of cell sites and frequencies used increases to meet coverage and capacity requirements.
- Mobile network operators (MNOs) that are implementing small cells can increase the number of managed elements by 50–500%, significantly increasing the operational burden for small-cell radio interference.
- Small-cell/macro network (HetNet) co-ordination, call handover optimisation and call detail collection needs also add to the operational burden of MNOs.
- SON automates some of the network planning, configuration and optimisation processes, thereby reducing opex, but also reducing the time to make network changes and perform upgrades.
- Release 12 of LTE and HSPA defines the use of handset-derived data, which SON systems can use to further improve network performance and the user experience.

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