We have become used to network equipment vendors differentiating their SON capabilities in radio networks, but today Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) announced it is launching something called SON for core.
NSN said SON for Core helps operators to “automatically and rapidly allocate core network resources to meet unpredictable voice and mobile broadband demands”. Its statement continued:
With SON for Core, operators can automatically detect, analyze and react to changing traffic and core network conditions. The core network adapts instantly to balance traffic loads and help prevent demand peaks from causing bottlenecks. SON for Core also helps to optimize the use of transmission links between core network elements by automatically allocating unused capacity to overloaded connections. Furthermore, operators can route voice calls to a point of interconnection that is lowest cost and best quality to reduce operational expenditure and improve the customer experience. In addition, SON for Core enables the core network to handle smartphone signaling more efficiently and helps to avoid the need to build spare network capacity that is rarely used, or “over dimension”.
SON for core seems at heart to be about automating allocation of resources within the core network to meet and balance demand.
“Today, core network management is largely manual and often reacts too slowly to maintain the best customer experience in the face of rapidly changing demands from smartphones. Manually configuring core network elements and their connectivity is a highly skilled task that can be prone to human error. SON for Core addresses these issues by helping to prevent harmful traffic congestion and other core network conditions that could degrade voice and data services,” said Thorsten Robrecht, head of Network Systems product management, Nokia Siemens Networks.
NSN also figures that automating these process could save operators up to 15% of their operating costs and cut the total cost of ownership of major network elements by up to 30%. It also claimed that transmission costs between radio access and core network elements can be more than halved by identifying and selecting co-located network elements.
SON for Core is part of NSN’s iSON, which extends the company’s capabilities of SON for heterogeneous radio networks. iSON is in turn part of NSN’s Liquid Net portfolio.
A note from a NSN spokesperson said that the company is viewing SON for core as one of three major mobile broadband announcements it will make before Mobile World Congress. The first was its CEM announcement, made last week. A third “major” announcement is due later today, the spokesperson said. Actually, as I write that, I think the third announcement has just gone live. See here.
The company seems to be announcing baseband pooling for small cell clusters, as well as a 3G femto access point and a small cell backhaul packet microwave solution. SON is still relevant here, of course, as is process automation, as the deployment of many dense clusters of small cells requires both. It is calling the small cell cluster + baseband pooling solution Flexi Zone, and the backhaul solution FlexiPacket Lite Microwave. It hasn’t said if the femto access point is its own tech or a branded product from one of the dedicated femto suppliers. Up until this point NSN has stayed out of femto APs, instead billing itself as a femto gateway provider and integrator.
Also notable is that NSN seems to be announcing some sort of In-Building design and build service. That one doesn’t seem to have a name yet.
Finally, the company has also announced a dual path cell edge technology it has developed for HSPA with Qualcomm.