Deutsche Bank : Intucell – a SON leader
The leading international bank hosted Intucell’s CEO, Rani Wellingstein, in its Tech Talk last Friday. In the summary of the event Deutsche describes Intucell’s success in AT&T and says that more carriers need to deploy SON in order to address the challenges their RANs face.
Below are excerpts from Deutsche Bank’s summary of the talk:
During the call, Mr. Wellingstein discussed specifics around Intucell’s overall approach, its realized network efficiencies and deployment times. Intucell takes a holistic approach, and aspires to be the “brain” of the network in terms of addressing the challenges within the RAN. The RAN is an area of increasing importance because of overall subscriber data demand, and the type of densification with small cell deployment needed to address this. However, the challenges with adding small cells are numerous and include such things as interference, handovers and load balancing.
All this makes SONs an essential element of small cell deployment. Currently Intucell is addressing the low-hanging fruit, using their software to optimize power management, handle load balancing amongst cells and shape RF for individual cells, with plans to do much more with time.
By deploying Intucell’s SONs technology in AT&T’s network, the carrier was able to see immediate gains. Within seven weeks, AT&T realized 40% fewer loaded cells, 10% faster mobile broadband and 12% fewer dropped calls. This happened with Intucell deploying their solution across the entire US within nine months. All of this was done with a solution that is essentially in the early innings of addressing everything on a laundry list of needs from the carriers. In the 3GPP releases alone, there are over 30 different use cases of SONs within a network. Mr. Wellingstein said there are stacks of candidate applications from carriers, each addressing a particular need within their respective networks. All of this provides Intucell with a long and detailed roadmap. In the near term, Intucell will most likely focus their attention on a few areas including: further integration between the Core and RAN, X2 interface swaps, WiFi and small cell integration, automated switching of LTE and 3G networks and dynamic cell peering.
When asked about network equipment manufacturers entering the SONs market given their current reach within networks, Mr. Wellingstein thought it would be a challenge.
Carriers are looking for equipment-agnostic partners to run different areas of their network because they almost always have a two vendor deployment. Given their deployment within AT&T and twelve other networks, this opinion is borne out to some degree; however, we think vendors like ALU, Cisco, Ericsson and others will attempt to bundle similar SONs solutions to their wares. So far, though Intucell has proven to be a leader here and it remains to be seen how successful attempts by network equipment manufacturers will be.
Read it in full here: http://gallery.mailchimp.com/381d604c94ed2613fbe531f8d/files/S2N_449_A_mobile_life.pdf