SDN Journal Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Destiny Bertucci, Liz McMillan

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.

@CloudExpo Stories
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...
Evan Kirstel is an internationally recognized thought leader and social media influencer in IoT (#1 in 2017), Cloud, Data Security (2016), Health Tech (#9 in 2017), Digital Health (#6 in 2016), B2B Marketing (#5 in 2015), AI, Smart Home, Digital (2017), IIoT (#1 in 2017) and Telecom/Wireless/5G. His connections are a "Who's Who" in these technologies, He is in the top 10 most mentioned/re-tweeted by CMOs and CIOs (2016) and have been recently named 5th most influential B2B marketeer in the US. H...
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 settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of bus...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that "Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO" has announced that its Call for Papers is now open. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Financial enterprises in New York City, London, Singapore, and other world financial capitals are embracing a new generation of smart, automated FinTech that eliminates many cumbersome, slow, and expe...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...
DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
@DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises - and delivering real results.
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
"We started a Master of Science in business analytics - that's the hot topic. We serve the business community around San Francisco so we educate the working professionals and this is where they all want to be," explained Judy Lee, Associate Professor and Department Chair at Golden Gate University, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Dez Blanchfield joined the faculty of CloudEXPO's "10-Year Anniversary Event" which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City. Dez is a strategic leader in business and digital transformation with 25 years of experience in the IT and telecommunications industries developing strategies and implementing business initiatives. He has a breadth of expertise spanning technologies such as cloud computing, big data and analytics, cognitive computing, m...
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
There is a huge demand for responsive, real-time mobile and web experiences, but current architectural patterns do not easily accommodate applications that respond to events in real time. Common solutions using message queues or HTTP long-polling quickly lead to resiliency, scalability and development velocity challenges. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ryland Degnan, a Senior Software Engineer on the Netflix Edge Platform team, will discuss how by leveraging a reactive stream-based protocol,...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Kevin Jackson joined the faculty of CloudEXPO's "10-Year Anniversary Event" which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City. Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized cloud computing expert and Founder/Author of the award winning "Cloud Musings" blog. Mr. Jackson has also been recognized as a "Top 100 Cybersecurity Influencer and Brand" by Onalytica (2015), a Huffington Post "Top 100 Cloud Computing Experts on Twitter" (2013) and a "Top 50 C...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.