10.2 SON Roadmap in 3GPP Releases

Multiple SON use cases have been specified by 3GPP for self-configuration, self-optimization and self-healing areas. In general self-configuration use cases are important at earlier phases when providing coverage whereas self-optimization and healing consider quality and capacity and they are more relevant when network usage increases.

The SON use cases are specified by three working groups according to their responsibilities: RAN2, RAN3 and SA5. RAN2 addressed only one use case: Minimization of Drive Tests (MDT) while other cases are defined by RAN3 and SA5.

While self-configuration features are mainly specified in 3GPP Release 8 and include Automated Configuration of Physical Cell Identity (ID) and Automatic Neighbour Relation Function, self-optimization is the core content of 3GPP Release 9, where focus is on Mobility Load Balancing (MLB), Mobility Robustness Optimization (MRO) and RACH optimization. SA5 deals with self-healing features: Cell Outage Compensation (COC) is part of Release 10. Release 10 work started in 2010 and provides MRO and MLB enhancements and Minimization of Drive Tests (MDT).

Release 11 SON still focuses mainly on failure scenarios; that is MRO in inter-RAT and HetNet plus minimization of ping-pong events; avoiding ping-pongs will reduce the number of unnecessary mobility events (i.e. signalling) and decrease UE power consumption. The main focus of Release 11 MDT is QoS verification.

Energy Saving (ES) has been specified ...

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