SON (Self-Organizing Network) revenue is expected to grow to more than $5 Billion by the end of 2020, exceeding conventional mobile network optimization revenue by a significant margin, according to SNS Research's latest report.
The market research firm notes that SON technology minimizes the lifecycle cost of running a mobile network by eliminating manual configuration of equipment at the time of deployment, right through to dynamically optimizing performance and troubleshooting during operation. This can significantly reduce the cost of the operator's services, improving the OpEx to revenue ratio.
Amid growing demands for mobile broadband connectivity, mobile operators are keen to capitalize on SON to minimize rollout delays and operational expenditures associated with their ongoing LTE and small cell deployments. Originally targeted for the RAN (Radio Access Network) segment of mobile networks, SON technology is now also utilized in the mobile core and transport network segments.
In addition, Wi-Fi access point OEMs are beginning to integrate SON features such as plug-and-play deployment, autonomous performance optimization, self-healing and proactive defense against unauthorized access. Furthermore, the SON ecosystem is increasingly witnessing convergence with other technological innovations such as Big Data, predictive analytics and DPI (Deep Packet Inspection), said the market research firm.
Following are other key findings from SNS Research:
· Mobile operators have reported up to a 50% reduction in dropped calls and over 20% higher data rates with SON implementation. Besides common network optimization use cases, operators are also capitalizing on SON platforms to address critical business objectives such as refarming 2G/3G spectrum for LTE networks.
· In a bid to differentiate their products, Wi-Fi access point OEMs are beginning to integrate SON features such as plug-and-play deployment, autonomous performance optimization, self-healing and proactive defense against unauthorized access.
· SON platforms are moving from reactive systems to more advanced implementations that incorporate predictive analytics technology to make necessary changes to a network before any degradation occurs.
· Infrastructure and software incumbents are continuing to acquire smaller established C-SON players to accelerate their entry path into the C-SON market.