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Self-Organizing Networks (SON) Challenges and Market Opportunities for 3G, LTE, and Beyond, Fourth Edition
Publication Date Mar 2014
Publisher Mind Commerce
Product Type Report
Pages 219
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Mobile network operators are looking for more automation in order to efficiently manage their large networks, which consist of thousands of base stations with hundreds of settings each. The role of Self-organizing Networks (SON) is to enable efficient, and in some cases programmatic means of fine tuning cellular networks.
SON can fix fundamental problems (i.e. the tire is out of alignment analogy), such as poor coverage and/or dropped calls in an area and it can also be used for short-term, real-time issues (and then potentially be put back the way the network was in the first place. For example, the network may need optimization locally for a specific event such as a sporting event or live show/concert. In all cases, SON is designed to support wireless carriers desire to provide a multitude of different services with high quality of experience for the end-user.

Approximately 80-85% of global providers focus on SON only in the 3G portion of their networks today. This is because they want to first optimize what is stable and most of the network, while they work out other issues on 4G. The ultimate implementation of SON in 4G networks will bring many advantages. For example, 4G has something called “Reserved Quality” (talked about on 3G, but not really there) as a means of managing Quality of Service (QoS) and Quality of Experience (QoE). This represents a benefit of SON on LTE in terms of optimizing network to support the QoS/QoE metrics. Leading vendors, such as Amdocs (who acquired Celcite) recognize this and are building solutions for improving customer experience.

This research evaluates SON capabilities, vendors, and solutions. It analyzes the function of SON relative to 3G and LTE and evaluates the benefits of deployment and operation. The report also discusses the future of SON beyond 4G. This research includes a forecast for overall OSS/BSS revenue.

Target Audience:
Mobile network operators
Wireless device manufacturers
Wireless infrastructure providers
OSS/BSS vendors and service providers
Network optimization service providers
Wireless network performance companies
LTE application developers and service integrators
Managed service providers and service bureau organizations
Companies in Report:
Actix
AIRCOM
AirHop
Alcatel Lucent
Aricent
Arieso
Ascom
Astellia
AT&T
Axis
Bytemobile
Celcite (Amdocs)
Celtro
Cisco
Commsquare
EarthComm
Ericsson
Huawei
Intucell
Lightsequared
Mentum
Motorola
NEC
Newfield Wireless
Nokia Siemens Networks
Optimi
P.I.Works
Plano Engineering
Qualcomm UltraSOn
Reverb
Schema
Symena
Telstra
Theta Networks
T-Mobile
TTG International
Tulinx
Ubiquisys
Vector
Verizon
Vodafone
Xceed

Report Benefits:
- SON forecasts and regional outlook
- SON case studies and future outlook
- Understand SON technology and solutions
- Identify the benefits of SON in 4G networks
- Understand network optimization alternatives
- Recognize SON benefits including CapEx reduction
- Identify SON vendors, offerings, and their market positions
- Identify the alternative uses for SON including data analytics
- Understand SON deployment, operation, and related solutions

Table of Contents:
1    Introduction    9
1.1    Executive Summary    9
1.2    Topics Covered    11
1.3    Key Questions Answered    12
1.4    Target Audience    13
1.5    Companies Mentioned    14
2    SON Technology Overview    16
2.1    The Evolution towards Heterogeneous Networks    16
2.2    SON in 3GPP Release 11    18
2.2.1    Releases 8, 9 and 10 Standardization    18
2.2.2    3GPP Release 8    19
2.2.3    3GPP Release 9    19
2.2.4    3GPP release 10    20
2.2.5    3GPP Release 11    20
2.3    Self-Organizing Networks Overview    21
2.4    Self-Organizing Networks Benefits    26
2.4.1    Network Automation    27
2.4.2    Energy Saving    28
2.4.3    Lower Equipment Costs    28
2.4.4    Distributed/Self-organizing (DSO)    29
2.4.5    Cooperative Relaying (CR) in SON    30
2.4.6    Feedback Overhead in SON    31
2.4.7    Codebook-based Pre-coding SON    32
2.4.8    Feedback Delay in SON    32
3    SON Use Cases and Current Market Status    33
3.1    SON Applications    34
3.1.1    Self-Configuration    34
3.1.2    Self-Optimization    35
3.1.3    Self-Healing    36
3.1.4    Problems with Self-Healing    36
3.2    Installing Phases    37
3.2.1    Centralized SON    38
3.2.2    Distrusted SON    39
3.2.3    Localized SON    39
3.2.4    Hybrid SON    39
3.3    LTE SON Releases    42
3.4    Automatic Neighbor Relation (ANR)    44
3.4.1    Installing ANR    44
3.5    Load Balancing in SON    47
3.6    Mobility Robustness Optimization (MRO)    49
3.7    Distributed Clustering in SON    51
3.8    Operational Use Cases    56
3.8.1    ICIC Enhancement    57
3.9    Urban Self-Organizing Networks    57
3.9.1    Home/Residential Deployments:    58
3.9.2    Enterprise Deployments:    58
3.9.3    Metro and Public Space Deployments:    59
3.9.4    Rural Deployments:    59
3.9.5    SON based on Small Cell Deployments    59
4    Antenna Parameters and Antenna Tilt Cost Reduction    62
4.1    Electrical Tilt    66
4.2    Mechanical Tilt    68
4.3    SON vs. SON-related Technologies/Solutions    68
4.4    Installing Antenna Tilt and its Parameters    70
4.5    Features and ROI of the Antenna Tilts    71
4.5.1    Overcoming Performance Issues in a Specific DAS Coverage Area    71
4.5.2    Energy Saving    75
5    SON Business Value    77
5.1    NGMN Use Case    82
5.2    Operators Benefits    84
5.3    Values of the SON to Operators    87
5.3.1    Economic Benefits    87
5.3.2    SON Implementation Expenditures (IMPEX)    88
5.3.3    SON Capital Expenditures (CAPEX)    89
5.3.4    SON Operational Expenditures (OPEX)    89
5.3.5    Smarter Self Organizing Networks    89
5.4    Recommendations for Operators to Deploy LTE    90
6    SON Vendor Landscape    94
6.1    Auto Configuration and SON    97
6.2    Optimi Solutions    100
6.2.1    Clients’ feedback on the Solution    101
6.2.2    SWOT Analysis for Optimi    107
6.2.3    Optimi Multi-Technology Self-Organizing Networks (SON for the 3G)    108
6.3    Ericsson SON Solution    109
6.3.1    Advanced SON from Ericsson    111
6.4    Actix    113
6.4.1    SON by Actix    115
6.4.2    Actix SWOT    117
6.4.3    Client’s Feedback on Actix SON Solution    118
6.4.4    NEC and Actix SON    119
6.5    Motorola    120
6.5.1    Motorola SWOT    121
6.5.2    Motorola SON services    123
6.5.3    Features of Motorola SON    123
6.6    Huawei SON Solution    126
6.6.1    Phase one: Planning    131
6.6.2    Phase Two: Deployment    132
6.6.3    Phase Three: Optimization    133
6.6.4    Phase Four: Maintenance    134
6.6.5    Huawei SON Analysis    135
6.7    Nokia-Siemens Networks SON Solution    135
6.7.1    NSN SON Analysis    139
6.7.2    Intelligent Self Organizing Networks (iSON) from NSN    141
6.8    AirHop    141
6.8.1    Airhop SON Solution Analysis    142
6.8.2    Client’s Feedback on Airhop SON Solutions    143
6.9    Qualcomm UltraSON    143
6.9.1    Qualcomm UltraSON Solution Analysis    143
6.10    Cisco    146
6.10.1    Cisco Intucell SON Analysis    147
6.11    Xceed Technologies    148
6.11.1    Xceed Xynergy SON Analysis    149
6.12    AIRCOM    150
6.12.1    AIRCOM I-VIEW SON Solution    150
6.13    Celcite (Amdocs)    150
6.13.1    Celcite Value Proposition    151
7    SON Provider Comparative Analysis    152
7.1    Comparison between SON Providers by Clients Feedback    155
7.2    Comparison between SON Provider by Setup Cost    156
7.3    SON Start-ups    157
7.3.1    Who is Dominating the Market and Why    158
7.3.2    The Future of LTE, 5G and Beyond    161
7.4    Where Vendors will be in Five Years    162
7.5    RAN Optimization Vendors Analysis    163
8    SON and RAN Optimization Market 2014-2019    165
8.1    Factors Driving the SON Market    165
8.2    Key Market Trends    165
8.3    2014 Market Update    166
8.4    Cognitive Radio Network (CRN) and SON    167
8.5    Self-Organizing Networks and RAN Optimization Market 2014-2019    172
8.6    LTE RAN Equipment Market 2014-2019    173
9    Conclusions and Recommendations    176
9.1    Carrier SON Deployments    176
9.1.1    Mobile Optimization    177
9.1.2    Optimization Solutions    178
9.2    Leveraging SON for other Purposes    178
9.2.1    SON, Big Data, and Predictive Analytics    179
9.2.2    SON and the Two-sided Business Model (Asymmetric Business Model)    179
9.2.3    Wireless Carrier Offerings    180
10    APPENDIX    181
10.1    Long Term Evolution Market and Technology Overview    181
10.2    LTE Market Overview    181
10.2.1    Market Drivers    181
10.2.2    The Shift from Voice to Data Centric Services    181
10.2.3    The Demand for Higher Data ARPUs    182
10.2.4    Capacity Management and OPEX Reduction    183
10.2.5    Lack of Fixed Broadband in Low Density Areas    183
10.2.6    Vendor Commitments    184
10.3    Market Barriers    185
10.3.1    Spectrum Congestion    185
10.3.2    High Investments for Early Adopters    186
10.3.3    Consumer Device Challenges    187
10.3.4    Broadband Pricing and International Roaming    187
10.4    LTE Technology Overview    188
10.4.1    Technology Overview    189
10.4.2    Performance Metrics    190
10.4.3    LTE Advanced    190
10.4.4    Integration with Deployed Networks    191
10.5    Next Generation Network (NGN) OSS/BSS    192
10.5.1    NGN OSS Overview    192
10.5.2    Drivers of NGN    195
10.5.3    Telecom Operator and Vendor Interests    195
10.5.4    Improvement in Access Technologies    197
10.5.5    Reduced Vendor Dependency    198
10.5.6    Operational Challenges    199
10.5.7    Integration of Multiple Private Networks and Application into Public Networks    200
10.5.8    Quality of Service (QoS)    200
10.5.9    National Security and Competitive Policies    201
10.6    NGN OSS/BSS: Components, IMS Implications and Frameworks    203
10.6.1    Network Planning and Engineering    203
10.6.2    Fault Management    204
10.6.3    Performance Management    204
10.6.4    Provisioning and Service Activation    205
10.6.5    Inventory Management    206
10.6.6    Billing and Customer Care    206
10.6.7    Mediation    208
10.6.8    Revenue Assurance    209
10.6.9    Challenges for OSS and BSS    210
10.7    OSS Challenges    211
10.7.1    Stakeholder Apprehensions    211
10.7.2    Framework to Integrate Customization Demands    213
10.7.3    Smooth Transition from Existing OSS Frameworks    213
10.7.4    Multi-vendor Coordination    216
10.7.5    BSS Challenges    216

List of Figures

Figure 1: HetNet Network Topology    18
Figure 2: SON Use Cases    25
Figure 3: LTE SON Releases    43
Figure 4: Comparisons between Centralized, Distributed and Localized SON    46
Figure 5: SON Operational Use Cases    56
Figure 6:Self Organizing Networks (SON) Concept    60
Figure 7: Antenna Tilt    64
Figure 8: Electrical Tilt    67
Figure 9: Mechanical Tilt    69
Figure 10: Operational Efficiency for SON    84
Figure 11: Fundamental SON Capabilities    98
Figure 10: Strategic Requirements and Business Drivers for SON    99
Figure 11: Types of SON Architectures    99
Figure 14: Qualcomm UltraSON Solution    146
Figure 15: USA Frequency Allocation Chart    169
Figure 14: SON and CRN    171
Figure 17: Global SON and RAN Optimization Market 2014-2019    173
Figure 18: Global LTE RAN Equipment Spending 2014-2019    175

List of Tables

Table 1: SON Vendor Rankings    156
Table 2: SON Cost Comparison    156
Table 3: SON Optimization Market Revenue 2014 - 2019    172
Table 4: LTE RAN Equipment Market Revenue 2014 - 2019    174

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