Self-Optimisation & self-ConfiguRATion in wirelEss networkS

Drivers of Self-Organisation

The need for self-organisation is driven by a number of technological and market developments.

Technological drivers

The complexity of contemporary/future radio access technologies is enormous, primarily due to the multitude of tuneable parameters and the intricate dependencies among them. Although this complexity is unavoidable when providing the desired potential and flexibility to offer diverse services with enhanced resource efficiency and service quality, it aggravates the network operations. The great multitude of sites/cells required to provide coverage with future high-frequency technologies, and the coexistence and coordinated exploitation of (cooperative) multiple heterogeneous access networks complicate this task even more.

Due to these technological complexities, the key operational tasks of radio network planning and optimisation currently are largely separated tasks. Intrinsic shortcomings of methodologies currently applied for these tasks include:
• The ‘over-abstraction’ of access technologies for network planning purposes.
• The consideration of performance indicators that are of limited relevance to the end user’s service perception.
• The time-intensive experiments with limited operational scope, delayed, manual and poor handling of cell/site failures.

In essence, the current approaches are characterised by a high labour-intensity delivering largely suboptimal solutions. At the same time, the increasing technical capabilities of both base stations and user terminals to perform, store, process and act upon measurements increases sharply. This is a key enabler to support self-organisation objectives.

Market drivers

The ever increasing diversity in offered services, each with their own traffic characteristics and service quality requirements, and the need to reduce the time to market of innovative services, further add to the operational complexity. A final market-oriented driver is the pressure to remain competitive by effectuating cost reductions, eventually enabling lower prices.