Huawei: Betting 2015 Will Prove the Year of the Rising SON

Ron Westfall

Ron Westfall

Summary Bullets:

• Huawei touts the potential fivefold increase in operator adoption of SON technology during 2015 as validation for the essential role SON can play in OSS transformation, including O&M apps.

• Huawei SON portfolio innovations such as intelligent interference management and energy savings from carrier shutdown methods address core operator SON demands.

Huawei in a recent SON briefing shared market projection data which endorsed that self-organizing network (SON) technology will likely witness breakthrough acceptance by operators during 2015. This includes the potential for a fivefold increase in operator adoption of SON technology from the 9% of operators who already used SON at the beginning of 2015 rising to a 46% total by the end of the year. Huawei identifies the surge in SON adoption as linked to operator prioritization of improving the operations and management (O&M) efficiency of their mobile broadband networks. However Huawei must contend with a host of SON suppliers that have identified the same trend. How does Huawei propose to win over operators in adopting its SON portfolio to meet their evolving O&M objectives?:

Energy Efficiency Advances: The Huawei SON solution proposes shutting down carriers based on actual customer and network usage. This includes the shutdown of both idle and lightly used carriers to improve energy efficiency metrics. Combined with real-time start capabilities to support the re-use of carriers for moderate to heavy activity, Huawei asserts new SON energy efficiency breakthroughs that previous and alternative SON solutions lacked. These energy advances become particularly critical in developing regions and countries (e.g., Philippines) where electricity supplies can prove expensive or even cost-prohibitive in the support of building out mobile broadband networks.

Intelligent Interference Management: Huawei asserts its Call History Recording (CHR) algorithms are designed to minimize conflict resolution within multi-RAT and multi-vendor environments as well as between base stations and overlapping cells. In distinction from standard conflict resolution algorithms, the Huawei CHR approach has the capability to identify the prime conflict source that resolves the overall conflict issue without the need to wade through each conflict event among the multitude of conflict sources. While rivals will likely dispute the CHR algorithm resolution claim, the intelligent interference management capability enables Huawei to make CHR capabilities a key consideration in the selection of SON solutions.

As Huawei champions its SON portfolio, what steps can the company take to render its SON proposition more compelling in meeting operator mobile network efficiency demands?

Expand SON-Services Link: The SON portfolio messaging needs to include more direct links to Huawei’s services portfolio, including automation of OSS processes such as O&M. Within many top-tier networks (e.g., EMEA), operators have embarked on re-establishing in-house control of O&M functions, reversing the trend of outsourcing these functions to third parties that started a few years prior. To accelerate operator re-integration of O&M, the Huawei services unit should advocate SON adoption as essential in the automation of O&M processes required to ease the in-house sourcing of the reverse migration. Otherwise operators risk making the re-assumption of O&M a costly, manual-intensive engineering quest that could undermine the objective of driving their own service creation and innovation in-house.

Use SON to Drive Automation: Many operators, especially within the Latin America and Asia-Pacific regions, did not outsource key OSS capabilities but remain anxious about using automation techniques such as SON to improve O&M efficiencies. Reasons include lack of in-house expertise and nervousness related to risking service disruptions in transitioning proven but less efficient O&M processes to an automated approach. Huawei needs to use its SON portfolio to assuage these concerns, since SON technology is well-suited for scaling mobile broadband services like LTE. Without the benefits of SON automation in place, operators in these situations risk stressing their existing resources without improving the customer experience – as well as diminishing their capacity to defend their customer footprint.

Overall Huawei has the SON portfolio assets to expand its capacity in meeting operator OSS transformation goals, including O&M efficiencies. Now Huawei must show it can develop a more compelling services integration tie-in and refresh its SON automation targeting to drive even more operator OSS transformation projects.

About Ron Westfall
As the Research Director for Service Provider Infrastructure, Ron is responsible for tracking the evolution and key developments within the global service provider infrastructure and service enablement ecosystem markets, including back-office, infrastructure, regulatory, revenue management, and digital ecosystem issues.

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