Self-Organising Networks (SON)
Managing radio networks is a challenging task, especially in cellular mobile communication systems due to their inherent complexity. This complexity arises from the number of network elements that have to be deployed and managed, but also from interdependencies between their configurations. The complexity will even increase when several radio networks should be seamlessly integrated as will happen when LTE networks are introduced by operators now operating their existing 2G/3G networks. In such Heterogeneous Network scenarios the variety of deployed technologies and their specific operational paradigms will be difficult to handle.
Network management is usually based on a centralised operation, administration and maintenance (OAM) architecture. Configuration and optimisation of network elements is performed centrally from an OAM system (also called Operations and Maintenance Centre: OMC) with support of a set of planning and optimisation tools. Today, planning and optimisation tools are typically semi-automated and management tasks need to be tightly supervised by human operators (cf. Figure 3.1). This manual effort by the human operator is time-consuming, expensive, error prone and requires a high degree of expertise. Networks are operated so that the human ...