Aricent recently hosted a webinar titled Capitalizing SON – How to Implement SON for LTE to reduce OPEX and Increase Revenue. In this webinar our experts discussed how Network Equipment Manufacturers can leverage the concept of Self Organizing Networks (SON) to not only manage highly complex LTE networks but also reduce operational expenditures and enhance customer satisfaction. Our experts also provided insights into how to choose between the various automation techniques and concepts that are employed in SON, different SON architectures and the various parameters that can be addressed by SON. Given the huge number of questions asked we were not able to answer every one of them live, so we've addressed all of them below.
How is SON useful for Cloud RAN?
Cloud RAN has a pool of baseband resources that are connected to remote antennas (RRH, AAS) over CPRI/OBSAI. The baseband pool itself can support multiple RATs. SON can move the base band capacity across antennas based on traffic situation.
I am familiar with SON. However, what is not clear so far is what Aricent is providing here?
(i) a Software/hardware based solution that we can OEM from you and sell it to the operators?
(ii) or is it a combination of software/professional services?
Aricent is upgrading its eNB Framework software enablers with SON capabilities. Aricent is also creating a centralized SON server framework software enablers. Both of these frameworks can be used to create the final solution needed by our customers OEMs/operators. It could be standalone software enablers or a complete solution on a given hardware consisting of software and professional services.
How is your SON offering integrated, or not integrated, with Tier 1 TEM small cell offerings? Are Tier 2, 3 small cell integrators more likely to use your SON offering?
We have provided services to Tier I OEMs for SON solutions. We will be able to assist Tier 2, Tier 3 customers with our software enablers and professional services combination. We can assist Tier I OEMs in the same way or through the professional services through the competence acquired in this domain. Some of our customers are using some of our distributed SON components in their offerings which are already in deployment phase in some of the networks. We do plan to have a more integrated SON offering in next few quarters.
Is the SON functionality currently available and operating in live networks?
Yes, several vendors have SON solutions in trial or live -- Intucell in AT&T network is an example
Why is SON not applicable to CDMA (non3gpp) networks?
No reason why SON can't apply to CDMA networks. However, some standards support is required on air-interface and inter-cell interfaces, which isn't in place for CDMA2000,
What is your data source for building SON algorithm? Only pm counters?
Counters are just one of the data sources, there are others, for e.g. different failure reports etc. There are some more besides these which are also used.
How does energy saving feature work in the context of a 911 call?
Energy saving will only switch off cells that are fully covered by one or more others. 911 calls will still go through those others.
How does a SON system fit in with OSS? Are there active connections between the two?
Yes, they are connected.
Can you list the eNb manufacturers that you have interfaced with to date?
We are currently building up the ecosystem for Universal SON, though our distributed SON is being used by various customers.