Alcatel-Lucent helps to drive self organizing networks (SON) through inter-cell interference coordination or ICIC. SON is standardized by the 3GPP and the Alcatel-Lucent implementation of the ICIC feature helps operators to maintain outstanding quality on their LTE network, without additional OPEX.
According to Bell Labs studies, ICIC offers the service provider specific benefits, including hand over failure that is reduced by 5 fold; increased throughput by up to 30 percent; and a performance increase in call setup.
As the entire licensed frequency band is available to all LTE cells of an operator, interference can be caused at the cell edge. This interference can be reduced if each cell reduces its emitted power on a specific portion of the spectrum. Terminals entering an area of high interference exclusively operates on the sub-band less interfered by neighbor cell. This requires that any two neighbor cells always have different frequency patterns or colors.
To address this issue, Bell Labs has designed a distributed algorithm that runs in each nodeB and automates the cell coloring. The first step of the process is initial coloring as each cell picks a color and checks with its neighbors to see if it is conflicting. Cells with conflicts will remain uncolored. At the second step, which is optimization, conflicting cells will negotiate their color with their neighbor cells over the X2 interface.
The coloring algorithm is designed to be executed in each cell that is considered low priority each time the Neighbor Relation Table or topology is changed. One example is when a site is deleted and re-created. The new Omni cell is created with conflicting color so that two neighbors share the same color.
The algorithm is then triggered by changes in neighbor relates and re-colors the cells. In this process, the color - which is actually a stable frequency pattern - assignment is found by the network itself. Overall monitoring and management is improved through this process as the network is provided tools to maintain quality levels on its own.
Quality performance is a must in today's intensely competitive market. Network operators must ensure that their network is not only meeting standards, but also delivering the quality experience customers demand. With help from solutions such as a SON from Alcatel-Lucent, the operator can be one step closer to performance perfection.