Motorola pushes SON developments, touts LTE wins

LAS VEGAS--Motorola, which is taking a distributed-architecture approach for its LTE self-organizing network platform, announced several new SON features the company said should help reduce network opex and could help the vendor secure more LTE business. The vendor also detailed its efforts on the LTE front.

According to Fred Gabbard, Motorola vice president of product management, Japan's KDDI is "moving very aggressively" to launch LTE service in the 1.5 GHz and 800 MHz bands using Motorola infrastructure in the second half of 2012. NEC is supplying base stations for the network as well.

KDDI, which typically builds out a network across all of Japan before launching, will initiate an LTE deployment by year-end 2010, said Rick Mostaert, Motorola's director of LTE product management.

Motorola also will ship LTE infrastructure to Zain Saudi Arabia by the end of the second quarter of 2010, enabling Zain to launch LTE at 2.6 GHz most likely before year's end. Under terms of the contract, announced last month, Motorola will supply an LTE network for the capital city of Riyadh.

In China, Motorola will provide a demo TD-LTE network for China Mobile Communications at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai that runs May 1 - Oct. 31; the company completed the first indoor over-the-air TD-LTE data sessions at the site last month. The network will use a 20 MHz channel at 2.3 GHz.

China Mobile will distribute TD-LTE dongles to expo visitors "and really pound that network," gathering considerable date on usage patterns in the process, said Gabbard. The expo is expected to draw 70 million visitors, giving the TD-LTE network a high-profile stage.

Motorola is aggressively pushing TD-LTE, with executives saying that operators worldwide are quietly considering the possibilities for the TDD-based technology, in part because many, particularly those in Europe, have suitable TDD spectrum that is sitting unused.

SON efforts

As for Motorola's new LTE self-organizing network platform, the company announced a range of new SON features in conjunction with this week's CTIA Wireless show here. The enhancements include auto neighbor relation with inter-radio access technology support, automated call tracing, automated cell outage detection, and SON change tracking and operator override.

Motorola's SON is a 3GPP Release 8 standards-compliant solution. The company said its approach, which uses advanced algorithms and fully distributed architecture, will help operators dynamically optimize their LTE networks. Motorola's version of SON keeps all of the call data at the cell sites, enabling the node to make operational decisions automatically while leveraging real-time feedback from mobile handsets using the network.

Other vendors are taking a more centralized approach to SON, which Motorola contends will require backhaul capacity to deliver data between the cell sites and central server. "Why backhaul all of that information if it's not generating revenue?" asked Eric Arndt, a Motorola senior product manager.

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