Mobile network operators will meet many challenges in the coming years. It is expected that the number of people connected, wireline and wireless, will reach five billion by 2015. At the same time, people use more wireless services and they expect similar user experience to what they can now get from fixed networks. Because of that we will see a hundred-fold increase in network traffic in the near future. At the same time markets are saturating and the revenue per bit is dropping.
To meet the increase in demand for a wide range of content services with high bit rate requirements, the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) is standardising the next generation of cellular networks called Long Term Evolution (LTE). When LTE is introduced by the operators, it leads to parallel operation of LTE together with existing 2G and 3G networks that are not phased out for a long time to come. LTE represents a major advance, designed to meet needs for high-speed data and media transport as well as high-capacity voice support for carriers. This includes support for new types of network elements, such as relay and femto nodes, and different cell layers. Due to that fact, a significantly increased number of base stations is required to assure coverage and capacity, all of which have to be managed properly. Also many complex radio network parameters have to be maintained and optimised.
Mobile Network Operators' vital interest is to minimise operational effort and cost. The concept of ...