10SON Evolution for 5G Mobile Networks

Gerry Foster, Seiamak Vahid and Rahim Tafazolli

5G Innovation Centre, Institute for Communication Systems (ICS), University of Surrey, UK

10.1 Introduction

SON (Self-Organising Networks) was originally conceived as a set of built-in features to ensure that with 3GPP Release 8, Long-Term Evolution (LTE) would be delivered as cost-effectively as possible in terms of deployment, operation and maintenance [1]. In other words, the LTE system was designed with a set of ‘Self-Organising’ features such that the resulting network required minimal human intervention so as to minimise operational expenditure. The concept was born out of the very real need to constrain costs for deployment, operation and maintenance of LTE, especially when it needs to coexist with an already complex ecosystem of radio systems operated by different operators (including Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) legacy Networks). It was envisaged that with SON a typical operator would be able to add LTE without the need to upscale its operational staff whilst managing its existing legacy Radio Access Networks (RAN).

In the 5G Mobile era, small cells and clustering techniques are expected to be the normal reference cases. In this evolved small cell–based landscape, SON algorithms for automatic interference and load-balancing control are essential, but need to operate much faster in terms of Network Sensing, Network ...

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