Report: SON Solutions Close QoS and QoE Gap, Drive Network Automation

Posted by Mae Kowalke on Friday, November 11, 2016 with No comments

There’s a trend among self-optimizing network (SON) vendors to position their solutions as critical aspects of telecom operators’ network management, big data, and customer experience strategiesrather than applying merely to narrow, edge-based use cases. The Mobile Network explored this trend, and its implications, in a section of its “Making Sense of SON in 2016” report. 

Within the context of the ‘customer aware network,’ TMN said SON can be the tool to close the loop between network level optimization and customer experience, “as a driver of automation in the wider network as SDN and virtualization progress.”

TMN cited Accedian as an example of a vendor putting a lot of thought into “how the process of instrumenting, measuring, and verifying network and service performance can be automated.”

For example, consider the following scenario posited by Accedian, in a network where a virtualized evolved packet core (vEPC) coordinates with SON controllers through big data analytics:
  1. Radios are fully optimized (from the SON controller’s vantage point), but user experience suffers. 
  2. Centralized analytics and SDN sort out where the issue lies. 
  3. The SON can then act at the service of each end-user’s prioritiessuch as optimizing service quality for users paying a premium for service in a congested area. 
This type of setup makes it possible to determine the most effective QoE optimization techniques depending on the type of service. VoLTE calls, for example, may require radio property adjustments or changes to backhaul paths. Whereas, for example, 4k video streaming depends much more on high throughput and not so much on delay.

“In Accedian’s vision, analytics that correlate user experience with their context, policies, subscriptions and the network state, will allow operators to see and control as never before, with the ability to add machine learning into the mix to create a fully intelligent, automated network,” TMN said in its report.

For a more in-depth look at evolution of SON, read “The Customer Aware Network” section of TMN’s report.