5G FAPI specs updated with richer 3GPP feature set
Automation is a key goal for most operators deploying next generation networks. With increasing numbers of cells being deployed to extend their 4G and 5G networks, the quantity of cells is becoming impractical to manage and optimize manually.
Full end-to-end automation is the ultimate, if distant, goal for many MNOs. SCF is engaged in making steps towards this goal clear and deployable for operators of all kinds. One of the first and most important examples of automation being developed for the RAN is SON (self-organizing or self-optimizing network), which has been a central element of SCF’s work program and outputs for some years. With the opportunity to accelerate at-scale densification at stake, SCF’s latest SON-related Release is a foundational paper entitled ‘Small Cell SON and Orchestration from 4G to 5G’.
This paper offers a valuable set of recommendations for how automation should be baked into 5G standards, products and process. It also considers how technology changes such as virtualization, slicing, machine learning and artificial intelligence, and RIC will impact SON.