LTE Impact on OSS Landscape

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LTE
Impact on

OSS Landscape

WHITEPAPER












Whitepaper

©2011 SEVEN PRINCIPLES AG Page 2 of 32


Version History
Version
Date
Author
Changes
0.1 22.09.2011 Christian Schäfer,
Bernd Müller
First Draft (English)
0.2 15.11.2011 Christian Schäfer,
Bernd Müller
Final Version (English)









Copyright © 2011 7P Solutions & Consulting AG. All rights reserved.

This document is protected by copyright.

All rights reserved, including the rights to translation, copies, and reproduction using photomechanical or electron-
ic systems. Protected trade marks, brand names etc. are not explicitly stated as such in the text. The lack of such
identifiers in no way implies that the terms are not free names as defined by applicable trade mark and brand
name legislation.

Limitation of liability

The information in this document has been carefully checked and can be considered reliable.
Nevertheless, no guarantee can be given for the accuracy of the information in this document. In particular, no
pledge can be given as to the suitability of the products described here for specific purposes.

7P Solutions & Consulting AG retains the right to alter the information specified here.

7P Solutions & Consulting AG
Email
info@7p-group.com

www.7p-group.com



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©2011 SEVEN PRINCIPLES AG Page 3 of 32


Preface
“If telecom network operators want to innovate, they first need to massively simplify their IT and network opera-
tions” (KPN Mobile’s CTO Erik Hoving on Management World 2011 in Dublin [1]).

Scope of present whitepaper is reflecting the impact of introducing next-generation wireless systems (LTE/4G) to
the OSS landscape and presenting optimization potential by means of process and solution adaptation.


Executive Summary
• Competitive pressure and diminishing customer revenues demanding increased operational cost efficien-
cy of wireless network operation
• An upgrade to the most recent wireless standard LTE reflects the most efficient invest for network opera-
tors to cope with demand and technology requirements
• Integrating LTE to the operational network requires multiple adaptations of existing processes and solu-
tions within planning tool and OSS landscape
• Only an optimized integration process fulfills the cost-saving promise of LTE
• Consequent introduction of LTE SON features speeds up network integration and increases performance
of operational network
• SEVEN PRINCIPLES has a wide range of expertise in the area of LTE OSS integration services and of-
fers in-house developed solutions for efficient network integration in a multi-vendor environment


Target Audience
This document is targeted to mobile network operators which are about to introduce LTE as their next wireless
standard. It offers an overview of potential challenges operators might experience during integration of LTE to
their network.




Christian Schäfer Bernd Müller






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©2011 SEVEN PRINCIPLES AG Page 4 of 32


Table of Contents
1

Introduction ...................................................................................................................................................... 6

2

LTE Overview .................................................................................................................................................. 9

2.1

LTE Technology .......................................................................................................................................... 9

2.2

New Challenges for MNOs ........................................................................................................................ 11

2.2.1

Challenge 1: Multiple Backhaul Options .................................................................................................... 11

2.2.2

Challenge 2: Backhauling Migration for Legacy Systems .......................................................................... 12

2.2.3

Challenge 3: Split Responsibility for Backhaul Systems ............................................................................ 12

2.2.4

Challenge 4: Aggressive Timelines ........................................................................................................... 12

2.2.5

Challenge 5: Increased Complexity of Network Operation ........................................................................ 13

2.2.6

Challenge 6: Required Organizational Adaptations to New Standard ....................................................... 14

3

OSS Structure ................................................................................................................................................ 15

3.1

OSS Tasks in the RAN .............................................................................................................................. 16

3.2

OSS in the Mobile Operator IT Landscape ................................................................................................ 18

3.3

OSS and LTE Deployment ........................................................................................................................ 19

3.4

OSS Within the LTE Network Lifecycle ..................................................................................................... 20

4

LTE Integration in OSS and Processes of the Network Operator .................................................................. 23

4.1

SON (Self Organizing Networks) ............................................................................................................... 24

4.2

OSS SON Optimization Potential .............................................................................................................. 25

4.2.1

eNB Plug and Play Functionality ............................................................................................................... 27

4.2.2

Automatic Neighbor Relation ..................................................................................................................... 27

5

SEVEN PRINCIPLES Services Offer ............................................................................................................. 28

6

Conclusion and Outlook ................................................................................................................................. 29

7

Glossary ......................................................................................................................................................... 30

8

References ....................................................................................................................................................
32




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Table of Figures
Figure 1: Global growth of mobile data traffic ......................................................................................................... 6

Figure 2: Rollout of HSPA & LTE ............................................................................................................................ 7

Figure 3: Operational expenses and savings during SRAN integration ................................................................... 8

Figure 4: Overview wireless networks ................................................................................................................... 10

Figure 5: Detail view of RAN-Interfaces ................................................................................................................ 10

Figure 6: Evolution of RAN backhauling ................................................................................................................ 12

Figure 7: Handover-cases ..................................................................................................................................... 14

Figure 8: eTOM overview ..................................................................................................................................... 16

Figure 9: OSS structure ........................................................................................................................................ 17

Figure 10: Idealized Tool/OSS Landscape ............................................................................................................ 19

Figure 11: OSS within LTE Deployment ................................................................................................................ 20

Figure 12: Process milestones .............................................................................................................................. 20

Figure 13: Network lifecycle .................................................................................................................................. 21

Figure 14: SON example: process for eNodeB introduction .................................................................................. 25

Figure 15: SON Main Features ............................................................................................................................. 26

Figure 16: Process changes after SON introduction ............................................................................................. 27




Table Directory
Table 1: Mapping of TMN FCAPS to eTOM Operations processes ...................................................................... 15

Table 2: Challenges of the LTE rollout and recommended actions ....................................................................... 23

Table 3: Introduction of SON functionalities .......................................................................................................... 26



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1 Introduction
Mobile network operators are facing a tough competition for their customers since several years. Driven by con-
stantly increasing demand for data services, dramatically rising amount of data transferred, they need to identify
solutions assuring profitable operation of their networks.
The mobile data traffic of Vodafone group Europe for example increased between Q1 and Q2 2009 by 115% and
another 88% between Q1 2009 and Q2 2010 based on Cisco’s VNI study [8]. The prediction for the global mobile
data traffic from the same source shows an average annual growth rate (CAGR) of 92% for the timeframe until
2015 (see Figure 1 below).

Figure 1: Global growth of mobile data traffic
1


One potential approach to fulfill the requirements would be the introduction of LTE (Long Term Evolution). LTE is
the 4G wireless standard from 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project).
The standard is a technological evolution of existing UMTS and GSM technology as they are also part of the
3GPP family of cellular network standards. LTE will significantly increase achievable data rates and improve net-
work latency. Unlike the introduction of UMTS in Europe almost a decade ago, the LTE rollout is accelerating
quickly.
This is underlined by following quote
2
from Alan Hadden, President of the GSA (Global Mobile Suppliers Asso-
ciation):
“LTE is the fastest developing mobile system technology ever. The number of operators investing in LTE has in-
creased 98% since June 2010, while the number of firm deployment commitments has more than doubled


1 Source: Cisco Visual Networking Index [8]
2 Quelle: GSA (
http://www.gsacom.com/news/gsa_334.php4
)

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(107%) in the same period. We have again raised our market outlook and forecast at least 91 LTE networks will
be in commercial service by end 2012.”

The following figure is also reflecting this trend:

Figure 2: Rollout of HSPA & LTE
3


In opposite to competing technologies like WIMAX, LTE is the standard chosen by majority of MNOs which is of-
fering higher operational cost efficiency compared to an equivalent capacity upgrade of 2G and 3G systems. At
the same time LTE offers a smooth migration path from legacy 3GPP systems towards 4G.




3 Quelle: GSA(
http://www.gsacom.com/news/gsa_315.php4
)

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©2011 SEVEN PRINCIPLES AG Page 8 of 32


During the UMTS rollout an additional and mostly separate wireless system has been established, consisting of
additional equipment and a separate backhaul system. Linked to these facts the operational expenses have
been the increased.
With the introduction of LTE such additional OPEX could be reduced my means of a new base station design
known as SRAN (Single RAN), which incorporates functionality of multiple standards within one type of equip-
ment. Following this approach during the introduction of LTE will lead to an increased CAPEX. However, from the
standpoint of network operators this will pay off in longer terms in comparison to a capacity upgrade of legacy
systems.
OPEX during new system introduction and migration of legacy systems will temporarily increase, however. In or-
der to leverage medium-term savings over initially increased expenses, an optimization and adaptation of existing
processes and solutions of MNOs is imperatively required.


Figure 3: Operational expenses and savings during SRAN integration

LTE integration requires a careful organization of required activities in order to efficiently execute changes in live
networks. An elementary component of this complex structure of required solutions and processes is the opera-
tional support system, known as OSS. Rather than being a single application, the OSS itself usually consists of
several specialized applications, each taking care of one or more OSS tasks.
The aim of this document is to highlight the OSS aspects relevant for successful rollout and operation of LTE
networks. As usual, this shouldn’t leave out operator specific starting conditions. However, within the scope of this
document we want to show up generic best-practice approaches for LTE integration to an existing OSS environ-
ment.
The following section of document briefly introduces the LTE system, whereas subsequent sections identify chal-
lenges during LTE integration and show related OSS aspects. Finally best-practice approaches are summarized
which address identified challenges of an efficient LTE integration.


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2 LTE Overview
2.1 LTE Technology
The 3GPP successor of UMTS/HSPA systems is named LTE. Despite LTE is frequently marketed as fourth gen-
eration standard (4G), initial LTE releases (Rel.8 and 9) do not fulfill IMT-Advanced
4
requirements for 4G stan-
dards. This will change with introduction of LTE-Advanced (Rel.10) earliest. According to 3GPP main motivators
and drivers for LTE development have been:

• Need to ensure the continuity of competitiveness of the 3G system for the future
• User demand for higher data rates and quality of service
• Packet Switch optimized system
• Continued demand for cost reduction (CAPEX and OPEX)
• Low complexity
• Avoid unnecessary fragmentation of technologies for paired and unpaired band operation
The most significant topological change of LTE access network eUTRAN (Evolved UMTS Terrestrial Radio
Access Network) is a flat hierarchy, eliminating the need for a controller in the RAN, as required in GSM and
UMTS. Figure 4 reflects the topological differences since GSM. Further on LTE could be used within a wide range
of frequency bands. In Europe e.g. the 800MHz band has been freed for LTE usage thanks to the shutdown of
analogue terrestrial TV broadcasting (EDD - European Digital Dividend). Due to relatively good coverage condi-
tions in this band LTE could be used for providing broadband services in rural areas currently not covered by oth-
er broadband technologies (xDSL, FTTx, etc.).
As LTE is the first purely packet-centric standard (seen from the end-user view), the LTE core network (EPC –
Evolved Packet Core) no longer comprises a circuit-switched part. Here in the core separate entities are dealing
with signaling and user plane data transfer.
The chosen transport solution for LTE got an update as well. Here 3GPP specifies IP for transport; on lower lay-
ers usually Ethernet is the solution of choice. This way the LTE standard is following the common Telco trend for
converging voice/data transport via IP/Ethernet.
The request of MNOs for improved efficiency of network operation has been taken into account by means of SON
(Self Organizing Network) features.

The following two figures are illustrating the co-existence of wireless technologies currently in use:


4
http://www.itu.int/ITU-R/index.asp?category=study-groups&rlink=rsg5-imt-advanced&lang=en



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Figure 4: Overview wireless networks



Figure 5: Detail view of RAN-Interfaces
Core
LTE RAN
UMTS RAN
GSM RAN
GSM-CN
BSC
BTS
BTS
Abis
Abis
A; Gb
RNC
NodeB
RNC
NodeB
Iub
Iub
Iur
Iu-ps; Iu-cs
Iu-ps; Iu-cs
eNodeB
eNodeB
S1-U, S1-MME
S1-U, S1-MME
X2
RAN –internal
Interface
RAN –Core
Interface
EPC
UMTS-CN

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2.2 New Challenges for MNOs
With the integration of LTE to existing network operation MNOs are facing several new challenges.
New sites will be rolled out, enabling higher data capacities and thereby consequently require new transmission
capacity. At the same time backhauling for legacy networks needs to be migrated to the converged transport so-
lution either.
In addition to these challenges end user services need to be provisioned and administered. All that leads to an
additional effort and complexity within network management.
MNOs might be forced to several organizational changes to cope with these challenges. Some of these chal-
lenges are addressed in the following subchapters. Chapter [4] shows measures which are addressing identified
challenges. All measures need to fulfill the requirement of an LTE introduction in schedule and budget, hence be-
ing time saving and cost efficient at the same time.

2.2.1 Challenge 1: Multiple Backhaul Options
LTE is the first 3GPP standard which is using IP-based backhauling from the beginning. This is allowing a wide
range of backhauling options as well as increased network efficiency. On the other hand LTE requirements to
backhauling are significantly higher concerning bandwidth, quality, security and network availability.
The network planning process requires accurate mapping between LTE node requirements and dimensioning
and configuration of underlying backhaul nodes.
On the user data side it is expectable to see a shift away from mainly best-effort traffic towards more differen-
tiated quality of service. Consequently also the backhaul system needs to support resulting prioritization of user
data flows.
Due to mandatory rollout scenario of German network regulator BNetzA prioritized rural areas (“white spots” with-
out existing broadband coverage) need to be covered with priority over urban areas. This results in a wide variety
of backhauling topologies starting from microwave links to be established until LTE integration in existing metro
Ethernets. Figure below shows major differences in transport technology during the evolution of wireless 3GPP
standards.


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Figure 6: Evolution of RAN backhauling


2.2.2 Challenge 2: Backhauling Migration for Legacy Systems
Implementing converged access networks, MNOs intend to use IP-based backhauling for legacy networks as
well. This is possible by means of bearer emulation. The migration is beneficial due to the unified backhaul tech-
nology and the related concentration gain and the economy of scale. However, also on this end there is an in-
creased planning and provisioning effort, especially when considering tight quality requirements for legacy system
emulations over IP.

2.2.3 Challenge 3: Split Responsibility for Backhaul Systems
Driven by the change of backhaul solutions away from SDH/ATM towards IP implementations in conjunction with
an increased bandwidth demand, MNOs are looking for partnerships with data network operators. In such special
cases an accurate end-to-end provisioning of connections requires a cross-company configuration management.

2.2.4 Challenge 4: Aggressive Timelines
In comparison to the introduction phase of legacy wireless systems the LTE rollout is quite far advanced in an
early phase of technology life cycle. This is partially driven by the MNO’s striving for technological leadership.
Another influencing factor is the regulatory pressure as well as an increasing capacity demand of consumers.
Especially in Germany the regulation authority BNetzA has elaborated a schedule MNOs have to adhere in order
to fill broadband coverage gaps (“white spots” without existing DSL coverage) for defined areas prioritized.
Impact of this ambitious rollout is the immediate need for an industrialized process and solutions supporting it. In
addition the already increasing customer figures generate a higher impact of configuration glitches on the per-
ceived network quality compared to a network in friendly user operation.

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2.2.5 Challenge 5: Increased Complexity of Network Operation
Usually mobile networks consist of subsystems from multiple vendors, e.g. the ePC vendor is different to the eU-
TRAN vendor or the backhaul system vendor is different to both. It’s common that different vendors are present
even within one subsystem like the eUTRAN.
This results in complex operational environments, as each vendor brings in its own network element manager
(NEM), which needs to be integrated in the existing process and solution chain of the MNO.

Another degree of complexity is contributed by configuration of required wireless interworking, which enables
seamless handover of connectivity between technologies (e.g. 3G  LTE). Different options exist for execution
of these technology interchanges but they all have design and configuration effort in all related systems in com-
mon.
By introduction of LTE to the overall network the design and configuration effort for handovers is significantly in-
creasing, as handovers need to be planned not only within LTE (intra-RAT) but also to other technologies (inter-
RAT).
To summarize, these are the additional handover types just by introduction of LTE:

• LTE  2G
• LTE  3G
• 2G  LTE
• 3G  LTE
• LTE  LTE
• inter- and intra frequency
Complexity might be again increased compared to above by considering the impact of different RAN vendors and
different frequency bands even within one technology. For the latter, e.g. in Germany LTE frequency bands in
800, 1800 and 2600 MHz are in use.

Figure 7 shows some exemplary handover types between LTE and legacy systems, which will increase operative
effort during network integration. Influencing factors are:

• Vendors
• Technologies
• Frequency Bands




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Figure 7: Handover-cases

2.2.6 Challenge 6: Required Organizational Adaptations to New Standard
Within the organization of network operation and its existing processes following LTE requirements will have an
impact:

• Requirement for self organizing network (SON) imposes adaptations of processes and solutions
• Definitions of key performance indicators (KPIs) need to be reviewed for comparability to legacy system
KPIs. KPIs are calculated based on counters, which are not necessarily comparable among technologies.
This increases the risk of diverging KPIs in different performance management systems
• Definitions of alarms need to be reviewed for comparability across technologies
• Security requirements need to be adapted as the backhauling requires secured IP access to the LTE
nodes
• Unlike legacy systems, with the introduction of flat hierarchy in the eUTRAN there is no more possibility
to trace radio protocols on interfaces to base stations. In addition tracing of remaining protocols is limited
by IP security implementations between eNodeB and ePC



1
2
3
4
5
6

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3 OSS Structure
Based on ISO/ OSI Telecommunications Management Network (TMN) [7] primary Operation Support System
(OSS) capabilities are broken down based on the acronym FCAPS. FCAPS is short for:

• Fault Management
• Configuration Management
• Accounting Management
• Performance Management
• Security Management
These areas describe necessary tasks of an OSS defined by the network-centric, bottom-up approach of the
TMN. However, besides them network operation is also driven by (business) processes which became recently of
higher awareness and lead to development of the TeleManagement Formum (TMForum) Frameworx [6] which
evolved from NGOSS. The aim of Frameworx is a service oriented top-down approach for business execution.
Frameworx consists of the following components:

• Business Process Framework (eTOM)
• Information Framework (SID)
• Application Framework (TAM)
• Integration Framework
Each enterprise is using best practice approaches and standards, this applies in particular for the telecommunica-
tions industry. The eTOM (enhanced telecom operations map) model offers a comprehensive set of agreed
processes for service providers.
eTOM is focused on transparent service provisioning across enterprises and is such reflecting reality of today’s
service provider business. The eTOM consists of three process groups (Strategy, Infrastructure & Products; Op-
erations; Enterprise Management).
The map reflects a vertical requirement chain from the customer on top down to the technology in the lower lay-
ers. The horizontal dimension reflects the fulfillment chain starting from the strategy towards the billing. The re-
sulting matrix presents a place to decompose processes and identify required interactions between them. Implicit-
ly eTOM is linking all mapped processes to both customer requirements and business objectives. For the intro-
duction of LTE to an existing network, the eTOM approach offers a mapping of required processes for network in-
tegration to the value chain of a network operator and its partners.
The classical FCAPS tasks could be mapped to eTOM operations processes as following:

Table 1: Mapping of TMN FCAPS to eTOM Operations processes
ISO FCAPS

eTOM Operations Process Group

Fault

Assurance

Configuration

Fulfillment

Accounting

Billing

Performance

Assurance

Security

Fulfillment



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Figure 8: eTOM overview
5

3.1 OSS Tasks in the RAN
On the resource management layer of eTOM the OSS consist of several components which are realizing partially
vendor-specific functionalities. Applied to LTE, these are the vendor specific network element managers (NEM),
which are administering the LTE nodes (e.g. eNodeBs). NEMs are also known as OMC (Operation and Mainten-
ance Center) or EMS (Element Management System).
NEMs are usually limited to nodes of one subsystem and one vendor, e.g. in case of UMTS RAN the NodeB and
the RNC. Backhaul systems are administered by their own element managers as well. Figure 9 reflects the posi-
tion of the NEMs in the hierarchical architecture of the TMN.



5 Source: TMForum [5]

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Figure 9: OSS structure

An NMS (Network Management System) is connected to multiple network element managers and enables a con-
solidated view on the whole network as well as a consistent provisioning cross-vendor and cross-technology.

LTE is introducing new technology and network elements to mobile networks. The following list names LTE nodes
grouped by domain to be additionally integrated to OSS:

• EUTRAN
- eNB
• EPC
- S-Gateway
- PDN-Gateway
- MME
- PCRF
- HSS
• Transport
- DHCP Server
- Security Gateway
- Edge Router
- Aggregation Router
- Core Router
- Microwave Equipment

Network
Management
System (NMS)
Network
Element
Manager (NEM)
Network
Element (NE)
Network
Element (NE)
Network
Element
Manager (NEM)
Network
Element (NE)
Network
Element (NE)

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With this pending integration to OSS, MNOs are challenged by increasing complexity of network operation. For
each type of element an according element manager of the equipment vendor needs to be integrated to the OSS
as well.
The following sections are describing the OSS role during the integration phase of LTE as well as the remaining
life cycle of the system.

3.2 OSS in the Mobile Operator IT Landscape
Designing, integrating and operating a mobile network requires a multitude of applications, each of them covering
a dedicated functionality. The following list is only showing some examples of activities which need to be sup-
ported by dedicated applications:
• Ordering
• Application for site at regulating authority
• RF design
• Microwave design
• Backhaul design
• Configuration management
• Location based services
• Inventorying
• Site administration
• Interfaces to external applications
As each of the applications is covering only a part of the project scope, a flawless rollout execution requires prop-
er interworking.
Increasing number of applications is also raising the level of complexity and requires an increased demand for
consistency checks. The required interfaces between applications are defined by the applied process and could
be both unidirectional and bidirectional.
The position of applications in workflow from planning to integration of network could be mapped as shown in the
figure below.

As mobile networks and technologies are maturing evolutionary, the IT landscape of most network operators has
been widening over the years and is regularly adapted to new requirements. This practice is motivated by asset
recovery and the stability of well-known applications and processes.
Sometimes this approach could lead to a situation that requires an analysis and re-evaluation of tools and
processes. Such could be triggered in case of existing overlaps or even gaps between executed activities of ap-
plications.
Another driver for modifications of the IT landscape could be reorganizations like the outsourcing of the network
operation. In such a case processes and interfaces of existing applications need to be reviewed concerning their
capability for the intended work split. The result could be requirements for modification of the OSS IT landscape.

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Figure 10: Idealized Tool/OSS Landscape

3.3 OSS and LTE Deployment
LTE is currently experiencing a rapid growth of rollouts, which exceeds the progress of UMTS rollout in its initial
phase. Especially in Germany this is partially owed to the conditions of the LTE licenses, where contracts fore-
see penalties in case of not meeting detailed coverage targets with fixed due dates.
The required effort of a rapid LTE rollout demands an industrialized process. OSS is a pivotal element of the
process, as e.g. missing or incorrect configurations will have immediate impact on the timeframe of commercial
network availability. A quick look on the quantities within LTE topology reveals the eNodeBs (eNBs) as signifi-
cantly largest group of network elements to be rolled out. Similar applies to elements required for their backhaul-
ing to the core network.
These facts are reflected in the high-level process required for a mass rollout of the eNBs and their backhauling.
The relevant activities until a commercial launch of an eNB and its backhauling could be grouped as following:
OSS Layer
NEM
Layer
Network
Layer
OSS Tools
Fault
Management
Configuration
Management
Accounting
Management
Security
Management
eNodeB
4G EUTRAN
NodeB
3G UTRAN
BTS
2G RAN
Communication Bus
NBI
(Northbound
Interface)
Planning & Inventory Tools
Performance
Management
NEM
Vendor A
NEM
Vendor B
NEM
Vendor C

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Figure 11: OSS within LTE Deployment

Based on the process organization, responsibility for each of the activities could reside within network operator,
equipment vendor or an external service provider. The rollout process needs to comprise meaningful milestones,
enabling proper tracking for each of the elements to be integrated.

Following figure shows potential milestones and their relation to the high level process groups:


Figure 12: Process milestones

3.4 OSS Within the LTE Network Lifecycle
The lifecycle of a wireless network could be sequenced in four phases:
• Plan & Design
• Integrate
• Operate
• Monitor& Optimize


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Figure 13: Network lifecycle

During each of these phases the OSS covers different areas:

1. Plan & Design
Main deliverable of this phase is the resulting input to network configuration. Therefore results of this
phase need to be correct and complete enough in order to support the creation of provisioning data dur-
ing next process phase.
Requirements of provisioning could vary even within one subnetwork depending on the vendor, so the
planned data needs to satisfy the complete range of options.
The OSS task at this phase is provision of a structured repository for consolidated storage of planned
configuration data as well as functionalities for consistency checks of this data set.

2. Integration
During the integration phase network elements are integrated to subnets and tested accordingly before
being integrated end-to-end. For successful integration, configuration data needs to be present in the
particular element managers and fulfill consistency requirements. Consistency is required in particular for
addresses, handover relations and further parameters relevant for interfaces.
Consistency requirements exist as well across subsystem and vendor boundaries. E.g. IP address
ranges need to be provisioned consistent in eNBs, the EPC and in the transport system. OSS houses the
applied functionalities within the area of configuration management (CM).
Efforts during integration phase could be significantly reduced in particular by application of SON features
like the eNB plug&play functionality.

3. Operation
In the network operation phase OSS main activities are performance and fault management (PM and
FM).
Text
Integrate
Operate
Monitor&
Optimize
Plan&Design

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In performance management (PM) counters of network elements are evaluated by the element manager.
Multiple counters are aggregated as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Examples of KPIs are data
rates, failure rates, success rates etc.
As KPIs are frequently aggregated in the element managers, their comparability across vendor and tech-
nology boundaries needs to be ensured.
Within the fault management (FM) alarms are defined within network elements, which will be reported to
element manager in case of trigger condition reached. The actual configuration of alarms is handled by
the element manager as well. Also here comparability of alarms across vendor and technology bounda-
ries is mandatory.
Finally the labeling of nodes, sites etc. needs to be handled consistently in all involved systems which is
precondition for any kind of alarm or KPI correlation across systems.

4. Monitoring & Optimization
During network operation an analysis of performance data is indicating the demand for corrective meas-
ures. Apart of the performance evaluation on the application layer also counters and KPIs from OSS
could be used.
Corrective measures might consist of network upgrades, site modifications as well as parameter optimi-
zations. Network operators are striving to minimize optimization costs. This will be supported by SON fea-
tures like e.g. the automatic neighbor relation (ANR).





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4 LTE Integration in OSS and Processes of the Network Operator
A successful adaptation of OSS to the integration of LTE requires in any case a comprehensive analysis of the
operator’s existing processes and applications.
Processes and applications need to be aligned and capable to cover requirements of initial LTE integration.
Based on the main challenges identified in section 2.2 table below provides recommended actions how to best
address requirements of the LTE rollout.

Table 2: Challenges of the LTE rollout and recommended actions
Challenges

Recommended Action

Multiple backhaul options


Consistent repository of planned data for LTE and backhaul system

• Ensure adaptation of planning tools for backhaul system and confi-
guration management

Backhaul migration for legacy
systems


Define and implement interfaces between existing legacy backhaul
and converged backhaul planning and configuration

Split responsibility for back-
haul systems


Application of responsibility matrix to process

• Definition of required interfaces


Ensuring

of configuration management support

Aggressive

timelines


Optimization of process and application architecture

• Efficiency increase by application of SON features
• Definition and tracking of meaningful process milestones

Increased complexity of net-
work operation

• Timely integration of SON features
• Usage of consistent configuration data repository
• Feedback of parameters modified by SON to configuration data re-
pository

Required organizational adap-
tation to new standard

• Requirement management
• Analysis of existing processes and applications
• Adaptation of processes and applications


This list of measures is clearly reflecting the pivotal position of a consolidated configuration data repository within
an optimized OSS during integration phase. Such a solution needs to comprise the following properties:

• Support of LTE object model
• Support of legacy system object models
• Flexible adaptation to backhaul solution(s)
• Adaptable interfaces to planning tools
• Adaptable workflows
• Support of planning in different time slices

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• Support of parallel planning input consolidation
• Consolidated capturing of configured network status from multiple subnets
Generation of differential configuration orders

4.1 SON (Self Organizing Networks)
The migration towards 4G and in particular the LTE rollout is an important milestone in the evolution of mobile
networks. The introduction of LTE is not only aiming to raise achievable end user data rates, but also to increase
the level of network management automation. The efficiency gain in automation is feasible by means of SON in-
troduction within LTE standard. SON is specified in 3GPP releases 8, 9 and 10 and fulfills the expectations of the
NGMN alliance.
The concept of SON should minimize operational complexity of wireless networks. One approach is the simplifi-
cation of network-wide element configuration and parameterization (e.g. for LTE base stations, gateways etc.).
The overall network is intended to organize and optimize itself, thus reducing OPEX by minimizing manual inter-
ventions required during introduction and operation of LTE. The overall SON philosophy is based on a plug-and-
play approach and defines automatic configuration and optimization.
This leads to a dynamic supervision and adaptation of the network. By means of this automation the time to mar-
ket for new services will be significantly reduced and customer satisfaction could be thereby increased.
Usually provisioning and configuration of the MNO’s base stations has been executed by own resources or exter-
nal resource providers or equipment vendors. This makes the integration and launch of base stations (also for
LTE) as per today a highly manual process, covering the following efforts:

• Planning of configuration data and handover to external rollout partner
• Generation of configuration binaries
• Physical transfer of configuration binaries to the base station site
• Launch of site

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Figure 14: SON example: process for eNodeB introduction

By introduction of SON the complete process for base station integration could be automated. However, realiza-
tion of this feature requires a wide range of changes within supporting OSS tools. So SON requires automation
also within the planning tool/OSS landscape for the purpose of a widely automated end-to-end integration, com-
pleting the automated process chain between planning and site launch.

4.2 OSS SON Optimization Potential
SON features are driven by 3GPP and NGMN, where 3GPP summarizes them under TR 36.902 (see [4]). SON
mainly specifies automatic features which are optimizing the network capacity, coverage, energy consumption
and robustness. In addition, SON features are simplifying tasks which are representing effort during network
launch and following operation. Features will be phased in groups across first LTE releases based on their relev-
ance within the lifecycle of the maturing (see table 3).
The most important features for rollout of the LTE network are briefly highlighted in the next chapters.


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Table 3: Introduction of SON functionalities
LTE Release

SON
-
Features

Rel-8
• Automatic Inventorying
• Automatic Software Download
• Automatic Neighbor Relation (ANR)
• Automatic Assignment of Physical Cell ID (PCI)
Rel-9
• Mobility Robustness/Handover Optimization
• RACH Optimization
• Load Balancing Optimization
• Inter-Cell Interference Coordination (ICIC)
Rel-10
• Coverage/Capacity Optimization
• Enhanced Inter-Cell Interference Coordination
• Cell Outage Detection and Compensation
• Self-Healing Feature
• Minimization of Drive Testing Activities
• Energy Savings




Figure 15: SON Main Features

Increase
Performance
&
Reduce Effort
Self
Planning
Self
Config
Self
Optimisation
&
Self Tuning
Self Testing
&
Self Healing
Self
Maintenance

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Consequent introduction of self optimizing functionalities also requires a change of existing processes for network
optimization. Where so far the properties of the network itself have been object of optimization, now it is the opti-
mization algorithm itself, which needs to be configured for meaningful operation (see Figure 16 below). This again
requires the live network performance evaluation in order to determine the effectiveness of optimization algo-
rithms. Further on SON features will dynamically adapt network properties which have been static only so far (e.g.
interference and load control). A supervision of these new features is also demanding process and application
adaptation.


Figure 16: Process changes after SON introduction

4.2.1 eNB Plug and Play Functionality
This feature enables automatic integration of eNBs in the LTE system in multiple automation levels. Such could
comprise parameter provisioning, interface establishment and transmission connectivity setup. This could signifi-
cantly reduce OSS integration effort per eNB (see Figure 14).

4.2.2 Automatic Neighbor Relation
The ANR (Automatic Neighbor Relation) feature enables LTE base stations to establish missing neighbor rela-
tions to other base stations derived from evaluation of UE measurements. By introduction of LTE new categories
of neighbor relations are occurring thus increasing complexity (see chapter 2.2.5). The ANR process also com-
prises establishment of the X2 interface between neighbored base stations. The ANR feature enables an initial
network rollout with a minimum of neighbor planning, thus reducing the amount of planning and provisioning for
base stations.


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5 SEVEN PRINCIPLES Services Offer
The efficient integration of LTE in present networks requires an adaptation of existing processes and solutions.
SEVEN PRINCIPLES offers comprehensive expertise in the area of LTE-OSS integration and offers consulting
services and in-house developed solutions for an integrated configuration management.

Potential fields for consultancy in the OSS environment are the analysis and optimization of existing IT-
architecture and processes. Furthermore SEVEN PRINCIPLES supports customers in the field of requirements
management for OSS IT solutions.

With MCCM (Mobile Common Configuration Manager) and TCCM (Transport Common Configuration Manager)
SEVEN PRINCIPLES offers in-house solutions for consistent configuration management, which are successfully
in service for multiple network operators. MCCM and TCCM systems enable smooth network integration and
support the network operation over the whole network life cycle. These solutions offer a wide range of supported
interfaces on planning and network management layer. Beyond that SEVEN PRINCIPLES offers services for po-
tential adaptation of interfaces to new applications.

Due to its membership in the TMForum SEVEN PRTINCIPLES is able to guide customers through OSS transfor-
mation phase and let them participate in latest developments of the TMForum.





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6 Conclusion and Outlook
With the introduction of LTE the networks of mobile operators are enhanced by another standard, which promises
increased performance, capacity and efficiency.
The market condition of operators requires constant improvement of operational efforts in the network, which be-
comes a challenge with increasing complexity. To cope with this, in real life operators have frequently developed
home-grown solutions and systems or purchased them from external suppliers. These approaches lead to iso-
lated systems and architectures developed around separate technologies and services.

The introduction of LTE answers the request for optimized network operational effort by means of phased intro-
duction of self optimizing and organizing features (SON). For many of the mobile network operators the introduc-
tion of the features is representing a shift of paradigms over the complete network life cycle. Helpful at this stage
would be an analysis of the current state of OSS/IT landscape in relation to current and coming requirements.
This could lead to a resulting decomposition of systems based on requirements. This could also comprise a clos-
er integration of OSS and BSS systems in order to facilitate integration of LTE in existing infrastructures. Applying
this strategy, network operators could respond to market demands and e.g. offer new services in a shorter time
frame.

For the outlook on the LTE/LTE-Advanced standard development, more potential for optimized network operation
is visible with the upcoming SON features. Only a timely preparation and adaptation of OSS systems along the
process chain will leverage this potential for optimization within a reasonably short time frame.
GSM, UMTS and LTE will co-exist for an undefined time frame, hence network operators need to design and in-
tegrate their networks across technology boundaries.
In addition there is an increasing demand for integration of technical processes and business processes. So far
they have been mainly executed in parallel, but have to converge soon. The facts of mobile data usage not rais-
ing the ARPU-level and meanwhile voice revenues diminishing are forcing the operators to also adapt their OSS
systems.
The Frameworx concept of the TMForum is exactly targeting the pending OSS adaptation, as it is supporting a
more flexible OSS integration and this way reducing risks and costs for integration and operation, shortening in-
troduction times for new products and increasing customer satisfaction.




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7 Glossary

Term

Explanation

3GPP

3rd Generation Partnership Project

ANR

Automatic
Neighbor

Relation

ARPU

Average Revenue per User

BNetzA

Bundesnetzagentur

BSS

Business Support Systems

CM

Configuration Management

DHCP

Dynamic Host Control Protocol

eNB

eNodeB (evolved NodeB, LTE base station)

EPC

Evolved Packet Core

eTOM

Enhanced Telecom Operations Map

EUTRAN

Evolved UMTS Terrestrial Radio Access Network

FM

Fault Management

GSA

Global mobile Suppliers Association

GSM

Global System for Mobile
Communications

HSPA

High Speed Downlink Packet Access

HSS

Home Subscriber Server

IMT
-
2000

International Mobile Telecommunication
-
2000

IMT
-
Advanced

International Mobile Telecommunication
-
Advanced

KPI

Key Performance Indicator


Legacy networks

2G and
3G systems (seen from LTE point of view)

LTE

Long Term Evolution

MNO

Mobile Network Operator

MME

Mobility Management Entity

NEM

Network Element Manager

NGMN

Next Generation Mobile Network

NGOSS

Next Generation Operations Systems & Software

NPS

Network Planning Systems

OPEX

Operating Expense

OSS

Operation Support System

PCRF

Policy Control and Charging Rules Function

PDN

Packet Data Network

PM

Performance Management

RAN

Radio Access Network

RAT

Radio Access Technology


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SAE

System
Architecture Evolution

SID

Shared Information & Data Model

SON

Self Organizing Networks

TAM

Telecom Application Map

TM Forum

TeleManagement Forum

TMF

TeleManagement Forum

UE

User Equipment

UMTS

Universal Mobile Telecommunications System

UTRAN

UMTS
Terrestrial Radio Access Network



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8 References

[1] Report from 2011 management world in Dublin,
http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=208224


[2] NGMN TOP OPE Recommendations, by the NGMN AllianceVersion 1.0, Release Date: September 21st,
2010

[3] NGMN Recommendation on SON and O&M Requirements, Version 1.23, Release Date: December 5th,
2008

[4] Self-configuring and self-optimizing network (SON) use cases and solutions, 3GPP TR 36.902

[5] TM Forum, Business Process Framework
http://www.tmforum.org/IntegrationFramework/6637/home.html


[6] TM Forum Frameworx,

http://www.tmforum.org/BestPracticesStandards/TMForumFrameworx/1911/Home.html


[7] ISO/IEC 7498-4 Management Framework

[8] Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2010–2015