Self Organizing Networks (SON)
The introduction of LTE means additional network integration and operation challenges. LTE will run in parallel with existing 2G and 3G networks (Multi-Radio Access Technology RAT). Network complexity will also increase because of the large number of smaller cells (Heterogeneous Networks), base stations and related parameters that need to be configured and optimized in such a scenario. It is in the interest of the operators to minimize operational effort and cost; especially in the early deployment phase. Attempts to set up and optimize the network are significant and traditionally take lengthy periods of time. In order to minimize the network operating expenses, the provision of Self Organizing Networks (SON) is one of the key objectives of LTE. This chapter introduces SON architecture, standardization, its main uses, and example algorithms.
In the early GSM deployments, maintenance was carried out on site. Any updates had to be done physically next to the base station. Today, the cellular networks are managed by centralized remote applications in the network management systems, with nearly all processes, like planning, configuration, and optimization, supported by computer-aided tools. The SON paradigm will allow automation, often transferring these functions to the network, in such a way that the network will automatically and dynamically adapt to ...