The number of people using cellular networks has grown over the years. Also, companies need a dedicated network for their daily operations. As the number of consumers increased, the competition has also increased amongst the telecom operators. However, the biggest challenge for Telcom operators is to manage the increasing consumer demands and complexity of networks. As a result, Telcom operators have to use digital transformation services and solutions to meet the changing needs of consumers. As a result, many Telcom operators have shifted to SONs from traditional networks for boosting their service availability. Read on to know the pros of SON for Telcom operators in 2022.
What exactly is SON?
SON (Self Organising Network) is a network that can heal itself without any manual interference. SON is a type of radio access network that minimizes the need for human effort. Besides healing itself automatically, A SON can also optimize, configure, and protect itself. In this era where manual network management is a hassle, SONs are a blessing. You must have heard about IT automation with AI (Artificial Intelligence). SON is an example of automation where Telcom operators depend on predictive analytics models for network optimization and configuration.
Telcom operators are involved in transmitting videos, images, voice, and other forms of data worldwide. Telcom operators offer cellular networks used by everyone. For managing the vast network, Telcom operators have to hire many technicians. It is because the existing network needs to be configured, protected, and optimized. With SON, Telcom operators can implement wireless networks with fewer manual efforts. Predictive analytics using AI applications is the main reason why SONs succeed in today’s era. SON will create a simple plug-and-play environment for Telcom operators for any network-related tasks. It will help in completing the network tasks with minimum manual effort. Not to forget, SON also aids in completing network tasks in quick succession.
Understand the working of a SON
Before implementing SON in your organization, you need to know how it works. There are several functions of a self-organizing network. How SON works is as follows:
- Consider a radio access network that continuously receives a new connection. A SON can identify the new access points that connect to the network. It can even identify the new base stations that connect to the network. Once SON identifies a new access point, it automatically registers it. When SON registers a new access point, it automatically manages the technical parameters to avoid interference. As a result, the service availability of the Telcom operator is boosted without any manual effort.
- The SLAs (Service Level Agreements) can change for different devices or access points. A SON will ensure that specific SLAs are distributed to devices and application groups with no manual interference. Even if there is high congestion and device density, a SON can still ensure specific SLAs for different devices. This activity of SON is also referred to as self-optimization.
- Sometimes Telcom operators suffer a downtime when base stations fail. Downtime reduces the service availability and has a direct impact on the operator’s ROI. Consumers do not like when network connectivity is lost abruptly. A self-healing network automatically adjusts the parameters of cells/radios to prevent downtime. Even if downtime occurs, SON quickly recovers without hampering the service reliability/availability.
- A SON automatically adjusts itself to stop unauthorized access. Self-protection is the biggest benefit of a SON. Telcom operators do not have to recruit a large team of system operators to prevent unauthorized entry into the network. SON maintains data confidentiality and network security without any manual interference.
- Telcom operators have to hire many people for building neighbor relations within a network. When a device travels within the network range, signals are transmitted from one to the other. A cell handover the signal to its adjacent cell in the network. SON removes the need for human operators for ensuring smooth transfers between the network cells. SON enables automatic communication between the network cells.
All the tasks mentioned above are performed automatically by SON. Predictive analytics models enable SON to constantly monitor the network and heal itself. SON can be deployed as a distributed or centralized network. For the distributed model, numerous nodes are established within the network. Each node in the SON will transfer the information to other nodes. For the centralized model, all commands and changes are applied centrally from the network management console. You can choose any model of SON for improving your network’s security and service availability. Many Telcom operators choose hybrid SONs which are a combination of the centralized and distributed model. Let us see some reasons why Telcom operators should rely on SONs going forward.
Pros of SONs for Telcom operators
The benefits of SONs for Telcom operators are as follows:
- Most Telcom operators choose digital transformation services and solutions to achieve hyper-automation. With SONs, Telcom operators can achieve inherent automation and reduce manual labor costs. Most mundane tasks related to network management like optimization, configuration, and protection can be automated with SONs. You don’t need a team of technical operators for performing repetitive network management tasks.
- SONs automatically prevent unauthorized entry into the network. Also, the network quickly gets itself back online when an abrupt shutdown occurs. With the aid of predictive analytics models, A SON continuously monitors the network activity.
- When network downtime is reduced, Telcom operators can avoid an abrupt shutdown. A Telcom operator can provide connectivity to its consumers at all times. Along with boosting service availability, SON will also improve the customer experience.
- To keep up with the dynamic network, SONs apply network changes over time. SONs learn to implement network changes automatically without human intervention. Predictive analytics models in SONs improve as they face more traffic.
In a nutshell
SONs are highly compatible with LTE, WIFI networks, 5G/4G networks, and other types of cellular networks. SONs are the need of the hour to improve the service availability of a network. Deploy an effective self-organizing network to boost service reliability and customer experience!