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efficiency and end-to-end user flow performance by coupling the Radio Access Network (RAN) and the coremore closely together and thus allowing the network and user policies to be modified in response to the varying radio conditions. Highlights
Optimization of end-to-end user flow performance in response to varying radio conditions Extending SON capabilities reduces network congestion Reduced churn, higher performance offered by Extended SON The SON principles of self-configuration, self-optimization, and self-healing are currently limited to RAN and operations, administration, and maintenance (OAM) systems. To truly optimize network performance for maximum value, SON principles must be applied with close coordination across the LTE network including the RAN and into the core. Coupling the RAN and the core network elements enables efficient provisioning of optimized end-to-end operations and an enhanced user experience. Exploding traffic renders current network management obsolete Soaring smartphone and tablet PC sales mean that wireless data services have finally gone mainstream, providing a growing new revenue source. A very wide range of applications are now being served wirelessly, including always-on synchronization software, Web browsing, video (real time and buffered), peer-to-peer, gaming and social networking. The
this has driven the rapid introduction of LTE in North America. as well as Wi-Fi® access points. service providers are increasingly having to: Manage overlapping 2G. Traditional network management — involving both centralized and supervised operations — is starting to prove inadequate and too expensive to meet the challenge. 3G and 4G technologies such as orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM)-based LTE or WiMAX wireless networks Achieve greater spatial reuse through large numbers of wireless femtocellsand picocells. the rate of traffic growth far exceeds the growth rate for wireless revenue. As a result. leading to growing RAN and core network complexity Manage network congestion through the widespread deployment of quality of service (QoS) All of these factors are combining to result in a reevaluation of the current network management paradigm. and the rest of world may soon follow. What’s more.amount of wireless data being consumed by users continues to see explosive growth — with significant implications for service provider networks. Their self-configuration and self-optimizing features provide an essential means of reducing operational expenses . operations and costs. Networks must deliver everincreasing traffic at an ever-decreasing cost per bit. Extended SON makes sound business sense These ongoing wireless trends have made SON and Extended SON functionality essential for cost-effective network operations. Combined with the demand for broadband data services.
Its end-toend network focus provides extensive additional opportunities for performance enhancement and OPEX reduction. Network automation answers these challenges. while lowering OPEX and improving capacity and performance. the network is their key investment. Extended SON covers a wide scope of use case categories to provide benefits to multiple types of service providers. Extended SON: Operational issues For operators.and OAM-based.(OPEX) as well as increasing network performance. and/or end-to-end optimizations for specific users and/or applications. The Alcatel-Lucent vision for Extended SON consists of expanding SON concepts to cover complete 3G and 4G networks. to ensure the continuing viability of wireless networks. Through the implementation of SON and Extended SON. utilizing the standard 3GPP policy infrastructure to enable cross-layer. service providers will be able to monetize their underlying infrastructure. is standardized within 3GPP for LTE and will evolve in future releases. cross-element. and uses appropriate real-time and near-real-time data input sources that allow for feedback from the network to be used to derive controls to help optimize network performance. While network automation is a reality in many parts of the network today. this automation is typically localized — either . whose present focus is primarily RAN. while minimizing the level of management effort required and degree of risk involved. SON. It is therefore in their interest to maximize the performance of the network under highly variable and unpredictable conditions.
which are aligned with the evolving needs of their network. In this way. during deployment as well as for continuing operations Higher end-user quality of experience (QoE) and reduced churn Improvements in network quality and reliability Higher performance from adapting the network to variations in loading and other dynamic operational conditions Alcatel-Lucent believes the best way to address the opportunities and challenges of operating multi-layer heterogeneous networks to handle data explosion is by introducing SON and Extended SON capabilities in a phased manner. Operators have pointed to many operational areas in need of improvement in their present networks. . operators have clear goals for SON capabilities: Significant reductions in OPEX. in concert with extensive field verification.within a specific network element and/or within a given layer. service providers can develop confidence in SON algorithms through sequential rollout of SON features of increasing sophistication. These areas include: Reducing time-consuming and repetitive tasks Reducing the time spent manually analyzing network data coming from multiple databases or OAM systems Reducing error-prone operations due to the time lag in updating values to reflect rapidly changing network conditions Consequently. substantial opportunities exist for cross-layer. Alcatel-Lucent has a rich range of SON features. Consequently. end-to-end. and per-user/per-application/per-flow optimizations for extracting additional performance benefits and management flexibility. as described in the Bell Labs Technical Journal issue of November 2010.
The intent of SON is to automate configuration/optimization/healing aspects in the RAN (only). but rather to extend the SON concepts into the core and across layers up to the application layer. This surgical deprioritizing of a few massive flows would be triggered only when network congestion (user or control plane) exists which impacts other users’ QoE (Figure 1). from generating additional revenue to the intelligent deprioritization of users when network congestion is present. and deprioritizing or offloading traffic linked to the heaviest users. Extended SON provides a range of options for the service provider.SON and Extended SON are very different and serve different purposes.The intent of Extended SON is not to address the limitations of SON. Through Extended SON. it expands upon SON. rather than optimizing just the RAN performance or just the core performance. There are a broad range of use cases supported by SON and Extended SON as described below. the performance of end-to-end user flows can be optimized. Extended SON can manage large data flows within the 3G/LTE core and RAN by monitoring the source and destination of user flows and their cell sectors. Extended SON allows the RAN and the core to be coupled closely together thus creating opportunities for end-toend optimization of user flows. . Real-world benefits of Extended SON In many wireless data networks. or even enhance the performance of SON. a small subset of users monopolizes a disproportionate amount of network resources. Extended SON does not eliminate the need for SON.
Furthermore.Figure 1: Extended SON functional architecture Constraining the traffic for the heaviest ~2 percent of users can result in a substantial decrease in loading for the macrocell RAN and core. consistent with the principles of 3GPP PCC architecture. This can benefit the operator in two ways: Through deferrals of RAN and core capital expenditures (CAPEX) Through reduced churn brought on by improved QoE for the remaining 98 percent of users Both options allow service providers to focus on serving profitable data. and there is no impact on thirdparty application developers or dependency on devices. this would work in a multivendor RAN and core implementation because the decision to throttle is made at the policy charging rules function (PCRF) and enforced at the packet data network gateway (PGW). . This approach does not require “Extended SON-aware” user applications.
real-time video. Likewise. throttle or block them). an operator could. and bandwidth requirements). Rogue flows include virus-laden or virus-generated traffic and/or denial of service (DoS) attacks. Currently. but also on available core resources. Through the dynamic adjustment of network policies aligned with E2E operating conditions (for example. SON and Extended SON also allow for the optimization of LTE and 3G network performances through dynamic load balancing among 3G. This is accomplished through the detection capabilities of the Alcatel-Lucent Wireless Network Guardian. voice. based upon detailed network load. offload select users from a locally overloaded 3G NodeB cluster onto another . rather than offering any relief. user equipment (UE) capabilities. radio frequency (RF) conditions. 4G and potentially Wi-Fi assets. for example.Extended SON can identify various types of rogue flows in the network and quickly take action against them (for example. Removing these flows benefits service providers through improved network performance and benefits users through greater security and QoE. This would preclude situations where load is transferred to a cell with limited backhaul capacity which only shifts the bottleneck from the RAN to the core. or gaming). Awareness of end-to-end delay would provide the base station scheduler more latitude in scheduling air interface resources when there is little end-to-end network delay. scheduling decisions for voice users are made in the base stations based on QoS class and radio channel conditions. knowledge of delay in the network can help the base station optimize its capacity while providing the necessary QoS needed for latency-sensitive users (for example. Another example of Extended SON is when load balancing is based not just on RAN resources. user application.
. Extended SON architecture enables the network view — comprising end-to-end network topology and end-to-end performance — to be aligned with the subscriber view to deliver an enhanced user experience through the optimization of the underlying network. This form of intelligent IRAT load balancing would also minimize “ping-pong” effects. In short. Extended SON enables the network to support a broad range of QoS class identifiers (QCIs) on each of its cells. and reduces the OPEX and CAPEX required to keep pace with increasing network complexity and traffic volumes. which can lead to radio link failures or reduced QoE. specifically. Significant capacity gains can ensue as a result of better network utilization. This in turn maximizes the efficient use of resources.3G carrier or the LTE RAN (inter-radio access technology load balancing). to allow for better operation of internal scheduling algorithms on the LTE RAN. the introduction of user policies within the eNB that permit base station to make optimized trade-offs between throughput and delay for Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and/or latencysensitive applications. thereby enabling improved utilization of air interface resources. The technology also allows analysis and decision making to flow out from the core into the RAN.
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