Article written by MJ Deschamps, European Communications.

[…] Lukasz Mendyk, OSS product manager at Poland-based global business solutions provider Comarch,
says that there are several potential challenges that come along with SON implementation. These include issues around gaining trust in automation, step-by-step implementation, multi-vendor/multi-domain support and translating a “better network” into “better customer experience”. With this, a holistic view of the network is critical for operators implementing SON, to avoid a local optimisation problem.

Says Mendyk: “SON promises gains for efficiency and better network performance, but… operators need to be able to define their goals and criteria for the network, and the network needs to obey those criteria.” That means that automation is not always the most efficient option for every area of the network.
For example, if there is an outage in one area of a network, and the SON concept assumes cell outage compensation (or self-healing) – by one part of the network automatically borrowing cells (or resources) from a neighbouring cell.

“Sometimes it’s better not to try to bring back the coverage [automatically]… while you would bring back coverage in the area experiencing the problem, at the same time, you will lower that service level in the area of the neighbouring cell – which may cause negative effects,” explains Mendyk. “[Operators] need to calculate the summary aspect of a cell outage compensation routine… and decide whether [any given situation] should be left to a traditional approach to network outages, like sending technicians to [carry out] repairs.” Other challenges during SON deployment, he said, include the fact that often equipment for a network is provided by different vendors – presenting a possible problem in regards to compatibility between devices. “If you don’t have a holistic view of the network, you might experience a
problem [with SON] if you try to optimise at one point, and lose the benefits of surrounding networks,” says Mendyk. […]

Full article available at: