Research vendor iGR has published a report for sale as part of their “Small Cell Architecutures Research Advisory and Subscription Service” extolling the virtues of Self Optimized Networking (SON) in LTE. What’s interesting is the information drip used as the teaser, it’s pretty big. As you know LTE networks have a services architecture (SAE) that is pre-designed to support self optimization, self integration and self repair features (as SON features.) The starting point for these, like the standardized use cases are fairly simple automations, nothing more complicated than what you need for a femtocell network. Check out the elegant prose from iGR regarding SON:[pullquote_right]SON is an important set of concepts that will radically change the way 4G mobile networks are design, built and operated,” said Iain Gillott, president and founder of iGR. “As the industry moves toward small cell architectures, with vastly more cells deployed in a given area, the industry must adopt new network management techniques to control capital and operational expenses. If SON is not successfully utilized, increased operational costs could slow the deployment of small cells.[/pullquote_right]
Moving forward, these automations can get to be pretty helpful, compelling and downright useful in improving the network conditions without a lot of hands. How much so? iGR estimates: LTE CapEx savings resulting from full SON implementation between 2011 and 2016 will be $2.34 billion and LTE OpEx will be $4.5 billion. Those numbers push past mere chump change on the aggregate. I think it will be more dramatic if you consider the 24×7 improved network performance and although I have numbers in my head, I have not read the report.
Now let’s also look at the Infonetics Research information that dribbled out this week. So in their report they estimate the SON market to be about a $3B US marketplace of robots and masters. They too had some good observations about SON such as:
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