Posted: April 4, 2014

The LTE Radio Access Network (RAN) consists of the eNodeB (the Base Station), and its interfaces and network elements connected to the core network. In 3GPP Release 8 standards, operators have specific requirements for simplifying eNodeB deployment and reducing operational cost, resulting in the concept of Self-Optimized Networks (SONs).

The Mind Commerce report, Self-Organizing Networks (SON) Challenges and Market Opportunities for 3G, LTE, and Beyond, Fourth Edition, indicates that approximately 80-85% of global providers focus on SON only in the 3G portion of their networks today. This is because they want to first optimize what is stable and most of the network, while they work out other issues on 4G. The ultimate implementation of SON in 4G networks will bring many advantages.

For example, 4G has something called “Reserved Quality” (talked about on 3G, but not really there) as a means of managing Quality of Service (QoS) and Quality of Experience (QoE). This represents a benefit of SON on LTE in terms of optimizing network to support the QoS/QoE metrics. LTE architecture enables peer-to-peer (eNodeB to eNodeB) connections, which lowers latency and improves round-trip delay times.

In LTE Network QoS is implemented between UE and PDN Gateway and is applied to a set of bearers.  EPS is a connection-oriented transmission that requires the establishment of a “virtual” connection between two endpoints (UE and a PDN-GW).   QoS can be a particular concern in LTE as multiple applications may be running in a UE at any time, each one having different quality of service requirements. For example, a UE can be engaged in a VoIP call while at the same time browsing a web page or downloading an FTP file.

One LTE-based application, RCS, will be a beneficiary as it leverages guaranteed Quality of Service (QoS) since it is offered over the managed IP network of wireless carriers.

For more information please go for Self-Organizing Networks (SON) Challenges and Market Opportunities for 3G, LTE, and Beyond report.

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