Self-Organization Activities in LTE-Advanced Networks

Self-Organization Activities in LTE-Advanced Networks

Ali Diab (Al-Baath University, Syria & Ilmenau University of Technology, Germany) and Andreas Mitschele-Thiel (Ilmenau University of Technology, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5170-8.ch004
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A major challenge in the context of LTE networks is a cost-effective network operation, which can be done by carefully controlling the network Operational Expenses (OPEX). Therefore, to minimize OPEX costs while optimizing network performance, Self-Organizing Network (SON) principles were proposed. These networks are the main focus of this chapter, which highlights the state of art and provides a comprehensive investigation of current research efforts in the field of SONs. A major contribution of the chapter is the handling of SON use cases, going through their challenges, solutions. and open research questions. The chapter also presents efforts to provide coordination frameworks between SON use cases and routines. An additional essential contribution of the chapter is the description of SON activities within 3GPP.
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2. Son Functionalities

There are different schemes proposed to categorize SON functionalities, see NGMN (2006), NGMN (2008), and NGMN (2008a). Throughout this chapter, we will use the wide-accepted categorization provided in Ramiro and Hamied (2012), which states that SON functionalities are categorized into five categories, namely self-planning, self-deployment, self-optimization, self-healing and SON enablers. Figure 1 provides a summarized view of these categories and their corresponding routines.

Figure 1.

Summarized view of SON functionalities

Key Terms in this Chapter

3GPP SON Activities: the SON activities done in the scope of the 3 rd Generation Project Partnership (3GPP).

SON Coordination Framework: Frameworks that coordinate between various SON activities to guarantee systems’ stability and reliability in addition to performance optimization.

Self-Organizing Networks (SON): Networks with the capability to configure, organize, and optimize their performance while minimizing network Operational Expenses (OPEX).

LTE-Advanced: The release being standardized by the 3 rd Generation Project Partnership (3GPP) with self-organization capabilities.

4G Networks: 4 th Generation mobile communication networks, termed also Long Term Evolution (LTE).

SON Use Cases: The use cases defined by the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) alliance to benefit from self-organization capabilities.

Self-Organization: The ability of a system to arrange and organize itself spontaneously under appropriate circumstances in a purposeful (non-random) manner without any help of external agencies.

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