LTE SON-Self Organizing Network

The LTE SON stands for Self Organizing Networks. This concept of SON is introduced in LTE and LTE-advanced based networks to provide simple and fast installation and maintenance of the cellular networks. The LTE SON features can be applied to all available types of network architectures viz. centralized, hybrid and distributed.

LTE SON is further divided into three major subcategories:
•  Self configuration
•  Seld optimization
•  Self healing

The idea of self configuration is automatic setting of all the base station (eNodeB) parameters required at the time of installation. This avoids manual setting needed by the LTE network service provider. This is done based on measurement of radio conditions.

Self optimization refers to optimization of parameters of existing base stations(eNodeBs) based on change in network load and performance requirements if any.

Self healing helps in overcoming temporary issues of LTE system capacity occuring due to LTE equipment aging.

LTE SON Features

Following table mentions LTE SON features as per LTE standard release 8, release 9 and release 10. Release 8 mentions procedures for LTE eNB self configuration. Release 9 mentions use cases for existing LTE network covering optimization procedures. Latest LTE advanced release 10 mentions new and provide enhancement to existing use cases. This covers macro and metro networks as well as takes care of interoperability with existing cellular networks.

LTE SON Release Procedures/Use cases
Release 8 •  automatic downloading of software
•  Automatic Neighbor Relation
•  Automatic Inventory
•  Automatic PCI (Physical Cell ID) assignment
Release 9 •  RACH channel optimization
•  load balancing optimization
•  robustness in mobility features •  optimization of handover procedures
•  ICIC (inter cell interference coordination)
Release 10 •  self healing functionalities
•  coverage optimization
•  capacity optimization
•  eICIC (enhanced inter cell interference coordination)
•  cell out-age detection as well as compensation
•  energy savings
•  Avoidance of drive tests

As mentioned Self Organizing Network procedures are standardized in LTE technology, the concept is not new to the wireless networks. The SON techniques have been carried out in GSM networks and HSPA+. In HSPA+ the techniques are restricted to centralized architecture and has not been standardized yet. Earlier introduced radio frequency planning application tools falls under the same SON concept.


LTE Terminology
What is LTE?
LTE UE categories
LTE Frequency Bands
LTE frame structure
LTE Physical layer
Carrier Aggregation in LTE
LTE Advanced
LTE vs LTE Advanced

RF and Wireless Terminologies