Reducing Wireless Network CAPEX through Streamlined Planning

Long-term innovations like self-organizing networks (SONs) should certainly be a part of any MNO’s strategy.

So, for starters, operators should determine if their networks are fully optimized and utilizing the entire available spectrum. The true nature of small cells—how they interact with and optimize cellular networks—must be understood in order for MNOs to reap all the potential benefits. This knowledge could mean the difference between missed opportunities and huge gains, and therefore MNOs have to ask themselves four critical questions:

  • Is the current network optimized?

    Determine whether the network can be optimized to carry even more traffic. The existing network must be optimized in order to reveal where small cells are needed most; the location of their deployment is dependent upon the current network’s macro-layer coverage and capacity.

  • Where is the traffic load so high that small cells make sense?

    Determine which areas, based on current and expected traffic, have traffic loads of such intensity that they warrant small-cell deployments. Where and when are additional resources needed?

  • How can you use frequency resources?

    Analyze spectral efficiency so that the current use of frequencies may be optimized. Is it more efficient to use the available frequencies for another technology, such as spectrum refarming? Do you need additional frequency resources?

  • Which technologies, both cellular and backhaul, should be deployed?

    Evaluate and compare different frequency, technology, topology, and backhaul scenarios based on CAPEX, OPEX, throughput, quality, spectral efficiency, and time to market (TTM). Which options are most appropriate from those points of view?

A simple solution for a complex problem

Long-term innovations like self-organizing networks (SONs) should certainly be a part of any MNO’s strategy. But the advancements of tomorrow shouldn’t blind operators to the very real savings that can easily be achieved today. Integrating network planning and service assurance solutions while leveraging real-time network intelligence is a logical, pragmatic and simple way of protecting margins right now. Optimizing new technology deployments such as small cells and reducing stranded capacity allows MNOs to plan strategic OPEX and CAPEX investments, making their networks more efficient and thus more appealing to subscribers.


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