In 2014, JDSU predicts a focus on the notion of self-organization in the mobile backhaul network.
A key feature of 4G radio access networks (RAN) is the concept of self-organization. Making the configuring, managing, and healing of networks simpler and faster. In 2014, we’ll see a huge interest in enabling this type of technology in the mobile backhaul network. With the vast number of small cells being deployed, backhaul is often a key bottleneck for deployment. We expect to see an increasing number of vendors including this technology as an integral part of their small-cell solutions.
The attraction of self-organizing networks (SON) is long standing for obvious reasons. For new base stations, SON implements a plug-and-play paradigm for easier and faster network integration. Configuration parameters and software are automatically identified and downloaded, and when the site is powered on, the network quickly recognizes and registers the site. Neighboring base stations align accordingly using automatic neighbor relations (ANR) protocols.
Once the network is deployed, SON capabilities include proven solutions such as automatic handover adjustments through to more complex features such self-healing where, if a site begins to fail, parameters and algorithms in adjacent cells are adjusted to ensure adequate service. According to AT&T, SON technologies have reduced call drop rates and improved throughput speeds by 10%. SON was originally introduced as a 4G/LTE technology. However, several companies have announced or have installed SON systems that also control 3G/UMTS networks. By working with heterogenous networks across different generations of mobile technology, the growth of RAN optimization and SON is predicted to be an over-$1B market by 2015. This estimate does not include significant potential revenues from the backhaul segment.
Tara Van Unen is the Senior Manager of Strategic Marketing for JDSU.