Small cell SON and orchestration from 4G to 5G

Our operator surveys show that improved network management is essential for driving small cell deployments. This paper offers clear recommendations for how automation should be baked into 5G standards, products and process.

Our analysis considers how technology changes such as virtualization, slicing, machine learning and artificial intelligence will impact on SON and orchestration in the future.

Full end-to-end automation is the ultimate, if distant, goal for many MNOs. SCF is engaged in making the steps towards this goal clear, cost-effective, interoperable and deployable for operators of all kinds.

One of the first and most important examples of automation being developed for the RAN is SON (self-organizing or self-optimizing network), which has been a central element of SCF’s work program and outputs for some years.This work is about taking SON up a gear.

With the opportunity to accelerate at-scale densification, we see this as a foundational paper that offers a roadmap for the implementation of end-to-end automation for 5G Era small cell networks.

There's plenty more to do and network management is an important area of focus for SCF in the year ahead.

Balaji Raghothaman, from CommScope and SCF lead for the SON work stream, presents an overview of the Release document