In wireless access networks, the rollout of new network elements (NEs) or changes to the NE HW and SW cause considerable (re-)planning and configuration effort across the different deployment scenarios (cf. Section 188.8.131.52). The total number of NEs (in particular base stations) to be installed and configured is thus a significant expense factor. With the extension of existing networks and the introduction of radio access technologies like LTE the cell size will decrease (for capacity-driven deployment scenarios, cf. Sections 2.2.2/2.2.3), thereby raising the total number of cells and increasing the overall deployment cost. As outlined in Section 3.3, SON for LTE is still targeted to ‘infrastructure networks’, that is, while parts of the configuration may be generated on the fly or ‘acquired’ for example, from neighbouring base stations, still the control of an operator via a central Operation, Administration and Maintenance (OAM) system plays a significant role.
For LTE-Advanced (cf. Section) the importance of self-configuration is increased even further as the density of NEs in an area is again increased. Furthermore the NEs which are deployed in addition to an already existing macro layer (like pico base stations and relays) are inherently low cost devices. Hence, the absolute ...