News Feed Item

Nudging the Network toward Self-optimization

LONDON, March 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Reportbuyer.com just published a new market research report:

Nudging the Network toward Self-optimization

This report will examine the various forms SON might take, as well as CSPs' concerns and drivers for SON. It will also cover some of the approaches appearing in the market today; and, finally, offer Stratecast's analysis on where SON is headed.


There are several exciting and potentially game-changing innovations underway for communication networks and the software architectures that support them. The self-organizing network (SON) is only the latter. It is neither as new nor exciting as Software Defined Networking (SDN) or Network Function Virtualization (NFV). These developments have captured the industry's imagination. They are generating buzz, as well as serious activity within standards bodies and in the roadmaps of communications service providers. With a few notable exceptions, such as AT&T's implementation, SON is not generating the same momentum. Stratecast believes the enthusiasm gap stems from SDN and NFV being broad architectural transformations. They are exciting because they are disruptive, and because they represent change and forward thinking. SON simply makes network operators better at what they already do. It enhances processes that CSPs have employed for decades, such as planning and engineering, capacity management, troubleshooting, service assurance, and optimization.

Although SDN and SON are currently what the late zoologist and geologist, Stephen Jay Gould, would call "non-overlapping magisteria" (meaning they operate in separate domains), there is potential for the technologies to become more entwined as they begin to drive software-driven architectures.

That SON should command less attention than SDN or NFV is unfortunate; but also may be a positive sign that CSPs are now truly focusing on developments that directly benefit the customer experience rather than the bottom line, which SON can certainly help them deliver. Some would argue that SON also improves the customer experience by ensuring that capacity meets demand—but Stratecast views SON primarily as a streamlining and optimization exercise, for now.

Also, SON will not get the inter-departmental push the other technologies get because it is not something CSPs can easily charge for. It is not a revenue generator. Besides, CSPs are in no hurry to hand over the planning, configuration and maintenance of their networks to a computer. Still, SON will come. It is a significant step in a long-desired direction. It will not come all at once, but will proceed tentatively from the largely manual process that exists today, to a semi-automated process— where Stratecast believes it will linger until some brave or desperate CSP goes fully automatic.

This report will examine the various forms SON might take, as well as CSPs' concerns and drivers for SON. It will also cover some of the approaches appearing in the market today; and, finally, offer Stratecast's analysis on where SON is headed.

Optimization Takes a 'Selfie'

technologies by their full name, relying instead on acronyms, only exacerbates the problem. SON is no exception. As stated in the introduction, the underlying concepts of SON are not new; programmability and automation have been the goal of network engineers for decades. But the tools necessary for achieving them have only recently evolved to the degree at which they become plausible. As described in this report, the terminology is evolving with it.

Self-Organizing Network guidelines were first introduced as part of the 3GPP's LTE specification, in 2008, for the radio access portion of the network known as the RAN. Although the term Self-Organizing Networks remains the official terminology within the standard, most operators and vendors that Stratecast spoke with for this report refer to SON as "Self-Optimizing Networks."

According to the 3GPP standards, optimization is just one of three functional subgroups of Self-Organizing Networks. The subgroups of SON are self-configuration, self-optimization, and self-healing. Ultimately, all three subgroups optimize the network in their own way. They are intrinsically connected; and Stratecast takes no issue with referring to SON as self-optimizing rather than self-organizing. Another way to think about it is that the term "self-organizing" refers to what the technology does for the network; and "self-optimizing" refers to what it does for the business. Still, it is important to understand the three subgroups more specifically:

Self-Configuration – The self-configuration function, or subgroup, focuses on the pre-service deployment of various network elements, primarily in the radio access network (RAN). The goal is to allow base stations and other elements to establish connectivity, and configure parameters on their own, as they are switched on. In this manner, they discover their place in the network and the configurations of their neighbor and adjacent cells; which, in turn, automatically adjust to their new neighbors. While this initially does not eliminate the need for engineering to design and plan the overall network configuration, it should significantly reduce the time it takes to prepare, install, turn up, and configure new elements in the network This will become increasingly important as small cells and heterogeneous networks proliferate, as is expected.

Self-Optimization – The self-optimization function, or subgroup, is designed to improve coverage by maximizing the utilization of network elements, and conserving the power to run them. It concentrates on the growing number of parameters that need to be set and reset in response to changing requirements in traffic, time-of-day demand, emergency coverage, environmental conditions, and the health of other network elements. Eventually, it will include the automatic reconfiguration of antenna-tilt settings for a new generation of radio.
Self-Healing – The self-healing function, or subgroup, will respond to service degradation or system failures by automatically adjusting parameters, configurations, or physical tilt in neighboring nodes to compensate for lost coverage. This self-healing function could change the dynamic of troubleshooting networks, and improve mean-time-to-repair and service quality. It could also reduce the severity and duration of service affecting outages.

As promising as SON is—within each of its components—network operations departments are not ready to manage a fully autonomous network. Network planners are not ready for self-configuration. Network engineers are not ready for self-optimizing networks. As one North American operator said, "We don't know how to run that kind of network."

Most of the concern over rushing into SON stems from a reluctance to embrace real-time modifications to active network configurations. Of primary concern is losing the point-of-reference for troubleshooting when something goes wrong or a series of parameter changes does not have the desired effect. CSPs are wondering if they might have to completely rethink the network maintenance processes that have stood the test of time for more than fifty years. Stratecast believes that before CSPs get comfortable with network-wide, real-time network configuration changes, they will apply SON to localized portions of their networks, or through "distributed SON"—one of three SON architectures.

Table of Contents


OSSCS 14-11
1. Introduction
2. Optimization Takes a 'Selfie'
3. A Nagging Discomfort with Networks on Autopilot - CSPs Speak Out
4. CSPs Reveal Their Motivations and Expected Benefits from SON
5. Advancing Toward SON
6. Stratecast - The Last Word
7. About Stratecast
8. About Frost & Sullivan

Read the full report:
Nudging the Network toward Self-optimization

For more information:
Sarah Smith
Research Advisor at Reportbuyer.com
Email: [email protected]  
Tel: +44 208 816 85 48
Website: www.reportbuyer.com

SOURCE ReportBuyer

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
Extreme Computing is the ability to leverage highly performant infrastructure and software to accelerate Big Data, machine learning, HPC, and Enterprise applications. High IOPS Storage, low-latency networks, in-memory databases, GPUs and other parallel accelerators are being used to achieve faster results and help businesses make better decisions. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at NVIDIA, focused on some of the unique ways extreme computing is...
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
In the next five to ten years, millions, if not billions of things will become smarter. This smartness goes beyond connected things in our homes like the fridge, thermostat and fancy lighting, and into heavily regulated industries including aerospace, pharmaceutical/medical devices and energy. “Smartness” will embed itself within individual products that are part of our daily lives. We will engage with smart products - learning from them, informing them, and communicating with them. Smart produc...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, will discuss the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docke...
WebRTC sits at the intersection between VoIP and the Web. As such, it poses some interesting challenges for those developing services on top of it, but also for those who need to test and monitor these services. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Tsahi Levent-Levi, co-founder of testRTC, reviewed the various challenges posed by WebRTC when it comes to testing and monitoring and on ways to overcome them.
In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Claude Remillard, Principal Program Manager in Developer Division at Microsoft, will contrast how his team used config as code and immutable patterns for continuous delivery of microservices and apps to the cloud. He will show the immutable patterns helps developers do away with most of the complexity of config as code-enabling scenarios such as rollback, zero downtime upgrades with far greater simplicity. He will also have live demos of building immutable pipe...
Rapid innovation, changing business landscapes, and new IT demands force businesses to make changes quickly. In the eyes of many, containers are at the brink of becoming a pervasive technology in enterprise IT to accelerate application delivery. In this presentation, you'll learn about the: The transformation of IT to a DevOps, microservices, and container-based architecture What are containers and how DevOps practices can operate in a container-based environment A demonstration of how Docke...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Coalfire will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Coalfire is the trusted leader in cybersecurity risk management and compliance services. Coalfire integrates advisory and technical assessments and recommendations to the corporate directors, executives, boards, and IT organizations for global brands and organizations in the technology, cloud, health...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the...
So you think you are a DevOps warrior, huh? Put your money (not really, it’s free) where your metrics are and prove it by taking The Ultimate DevOps Geek Quiz Challenge, sponsored by DevOps Summit. Battle through the set of tough questions created by industry thought leaders to earn your bragging rights and win some cool prizes.
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
The Internet of Things (IoT), in all its myriad manifestations, has great potential. Much of that potential comes from the evolving data management and analytic (DMA) technologies and processes that allow us to gain insight from all of the IoT data that can be generated and gathered. This potential may never be met as those data sets are tied to specific industry verticals and single markets, with no clear way to use IoT data and sensor analytics to fulfill the hype being given the IoT today.