Self-Organizing Network (SON)
Self-Organizing Network (SON) is a set of capabilities defined in the LTE standards to simplify the task of configuring and optimizing LTE networks. SON functions fall into three broad groups:
- Self-configuration enables network components like the Enb to determine key configuration parameters autonomously, identify changes to parameters as a result of network changes (e.g. Automatic Neighbor Relations (ANR)) and to automatically establish signaling interfaces to other network elements.
- Self-Optimization adjusts parameter settings based on feedback collected over time to fine-tune the transmission parameters to improve performance and reduce failures, and to dynamically manage interference by allowing cells to coordinate their transmissions (Inter-Cell Interference Coordination (ICIC)).
- Self-healing allows the network to deal with faults and performance issues by using information gathered from mobile devices and other sources to identify and respond to failures. These mobile statistics also provide enough details to greatly reduce to eliminate the need for the operator to perform drive testing in the network, essentially using the subscriber base to measure the network’s performance.
SON features in 3GPP Release 8 was on procedures associated with initial equipment installation and configuration such as ANR and Automatic PCI Assignment.
Release 9 included mobility-related optimization, load balancing and interference management.
Release 10 SON features included the introduction of enhanced interference management feature (eICIC) Minimization Drive Test (MDT), which provides SON algorithm with highly localized UE-based measurements.
The focus of the latest work on SON standardization is on inter-RAT aspects and other enhancement to SON features introduced in earlier releases and their coordination.
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