At MWC 2014, NEC Corporation announced the successful completion of the field verifications of the 3GPP SON (Self-Organising Network) features of commercial LTE HetNets (Heterogeneous Networks), paving the way for operators to unlock their networks using innovative multivendor technologies.
NEC’s microcell all-in-one eNodeB (MB4310) was successfully connected via X2 interfaces in a multi-vendor environment in Russia and Europe to demonstrate advanced plug-and-play and auto-tuning SON features.
Operators are striving to open up their networks to increase innovation and management flexibility, rather than being locked into single vendor roadmaps. Multivendor SON technologies are essential to lower the configuration and maintenance costs for networks comprised of multiple macrocell and small cell layers and potentially multiple operators in a network sharing environment.
SON features help operators to quickly deploy and efficiently manage cell site roll-outs and enable the customer experience-driven optimisation of the network to meet coverage and capacity demand in light of rising mobile broadband usage.
'Operators want to be able to benefit from higher levels of innovation that truly open, interoperable multivendor networks bring while reducing costs,' said Katsumi Tanoue, assistant general manager of NEC’s Radio Access Network division. 'This is the most important trend in the mobile industry today. It is spurring the adoption of SDN and NFV technologies, in addition to LTE HetNets which NEC is playing a leading role in developing.'
NEC, leveraging its broad range of expertise in SON development and field testing, is a major contributor to the Next Generation Mobile Network (NGMN) P-SmallCells project, which is driving the development of multi-vendor SON.
Following this project, the NGMN Alliance issued a report on the Recommended Practices for Multi-vendor SON Deployment, which identifies potential interoperability issues and solutions for multi-vendor SON architecture. Contributors to the report include NEC, Alcatel-Lucent, Telecom Italia, Eden Rock, Cisco, China Mobile Communications Corporation and Telefónica.