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Self-organizing Networks and the Shifting MNO Battleground


According to Yankee Group, approximately 26 percent of MNOs’ operational expenditures (OPEX) is spent on network operations.

The Need for Open Scripting SON Frameworks

Some MNOs aspire to develop proprietary SON algorithms and workflows while existing commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) SON solutions focus on specific use cases. In addition to fully packaged use cases, an open SON scripting framework would allow network management teams to develop customized solutions driven by their unique operational needs. Even when equipped with SON hotspots identification mechanisms and sophisticated SON algorithms, operations teams need the flexibility to build their own business logics and script routines to automate simple yet time-consuming recurring tasks such as parameter audits and bulk parameter updates (e.g. what are the current RET settings for all cells in a certain market?). In a more sophisticated example, operators would source near real-time KPI analytics within their own scripts to automatically respond to network events that would otherwise have been remediated manually. This requires cell locking mechanisms, script priority management and manual override capabilities that compose the building blocks of a SON development framework.

What this means for the future

According to Yankee Group, approximately 26 percent of MNOs’ operational expenditures (OPEX) is spent on network operations. To put this in perspective, a leading U.S. tier 1 MNO is spending as much as $9 billion USD annually to operate, manage and optimize its network. Overall, the organization of RAN practices around the concepts of SON is proving to be a necessary solution for MNOs looking to manage multiple networks in a cost-effective manner. With the ability to plan, configure, operate and optimize multiple networks, SON eliminates congestion in a given network, offering high QoE and improving an MNO’s business model. Though the amount of networks currently being managed by each MNO may seem daunting, SON simplifies RAN capacity optimization and can help operators become more competitive in the communications market.



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