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Implementing and Operating Self-Organizing Networks (SON): Analysis and Case Studies for Mobile Network Operators

May 2013

Pages: 46

Single-user License: $ 995 USD
Company-wide License: $ 2,995 USD
Team License (Up to 5 Users): $ 1,865 USD

Keywords: Self Organizing Network, Implementing SON, Implementing Self Organizing Networks, SON Operations


New and emerging classes of mobile devices (smartphones, pc data cards, USB modems, consumer devices with embedded wireless, machine-to-machine, etc.) are fostering explosive growth of wireless data usage by public and enterprise users. As a result, wireless service providers have to simultaneously support a growing number of higher-bandwidth data applications and services on their networks.

Improving OSS for mobile cellular networks is always a goal of wireless carriers and an important technology to deploy is the so called Self Organizing Network (SON), which has been introduced as part of the 3GPP LTE network framework. SON is expected to be deployed over time and ultimately have a dramatically positive effect on network operations and OSS as it will, among other things, automate certain activates in order to save personnel costs and related costs of materials.

This research evaluates the implementation and operation of SON. The report includes analysis and case studies aimed at mobile network operators to help them identify and understand the benefits as well as the challenges of implementation and operation.

See Table of Contents for complete list of areas covered.


  • Mobile network operators
  • Wireless device manufacturers
  • Wireless infrastructure providers
  • OSS/BSS vendors and service providers
  • Network optimization service providers
  • LTE application developers and service integrators
  • Managed service providers and service bureau organizations

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Self Organizing Networks Economic Benefits
  • Network Automation
  • Energy Saving
  • Lower Equipments
  • Market Drivers for SON
  • Implementing Self Organizing Networks
  • SON Architecture
  • Implementation Cases
  • First Scenario: Existing Network
  • Second Scenario: Greenfield
  • Third Scenario: Deploy Prior to LTE
  • Fourth Scenario: Deploy/Upgrade EPC without LTE
  • Future Trends
  • Load Balancing in SON
  • Mobility Robustness Optimization (MRO)
  • Antenna Parameters and Cost Reduction and Antenna Tilt
  • Electrical Tilt
  • Mechanical Tilt
  • Installing Antenna Tilt and Its Parameters
  • Feasibility Study on the Installation of SON Operations
  • Planning the Network
  • Automatic Neighbour Relations
  • Optimization
  • Network Automation
  • Fault Management
  • Automated Analysis
  • Self Configuration
  • Self Optimization
  • Self Healing
  • Self Healing Challenging
  • Cell Outage Detection
  • Case Study: The Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Recommendations on Installing SON and LTE Operations
  • Operational Challenges vs Benefits
  • Delay in SON
  • Transition Process Challenges
  • Lower Human Interaction
  • More Automated Networks
  • Other Technical Challenges
  • Calculating the Cost of SON
  • Savings
  • Benefits
  • Operational Benefits
  • Future Benefits

List of Figures

  • Figure 1: SON Use Cases
  • Figure 2: Antenna Tilt
  • Figure 3: Antenna Tilt Parameters
  • Figure 4: Electrical Tilt
  • Figure 5: Mechanical Tilt
  • Figure 6: SON Operational Case