By Yun Xiang, MulteFire Alliance SON Working Group Chair

The goal of SON – Self Organizing Networks – is to reduce the amount of human intervention required to integrate, optimize and maintain the network. This is achieved through self-configuration, self-optimization and self-healing: the key words for SON.

In a network composed of MulteFire small cells, SON is just as important. Whether in a standalone MulteFire network deployed in an enterprise or in a mobile operator network augmented with MulteFire small cells, SON can help enable effective coordination of the “unplanned” small cell resources. In the unlicensed frequency band, where we have very complex co-existence scenarios, SON can optimize the network and reduce the interference effectively.

To meet this need, the MulteFire Alliance has recently formed the SON Work Group (SWG) with the goal to enable simple plug-n-play MulteFire network deployments with optimized performance in unlicensed spectrum.

In the SWG, we are defining the typical use cases, requirements and architectures of SON functions for a MulteFire network and will ultimately draft technical specifications for MulteFire SON solutions. As these SON functions will be designed based on the output from the Radio Work Group and the End-to-End Architecture Work Group focused on Release 1.0, we are targeting the inclusion of SON in Release 1.1.

We invite all companies with an interest in optimizing small cell networks to join us.