The evolution of legacy antennas into mMIMO active antennas brings both opportunities and challenges. The introduction of mMIMO allows operators to gain competitive advantage since the technology allows much higher capacity through enhanced spectral efficiency, while driving the evolution of 4G networks towards 5G. However, the lack of an electrical tilt option to tune the coverage footprint in mMIMO and the complexity of selecting the correct beam profile makes it more difficult to manage and optimize these systems. In addition, mMIMO will co-exist along with legacy antenna systems, which brings additional challenges that can only be handled by using advanced automation techniques.
P.I. Works Centralized SON (Self Organizing Networks) solution offers AI assisted network automation capabilities that enable the centralized management of next generation multi-vendor and multi-technology networks in which different base station antenna technologies are deployed side by side. Such capabilities enable dynamic management of mMIMO systems and boost the service quality and network efficiency.
Service Quality Aware Dynamic mMIMO Traffic Management
One of P.I. Works’ first use cases for automated mMIMO management is the dynamic traffic steering across LTE-FDD (non-mMIMO), LTE-TDD (mMIMO) and 5G NR (mMIMO). P.I. Works partnered with Turkcell, a prominent mobile operator in Europe with approximately 50 million subscribers, for the development and implementation of the automated mMIMO solution and showcased its capabilities on Turkcell’s live network.
To transmit the best data rates, centralized orchestration of legacy and next generation networks is of critical importance. P.I. Works Centralized SON solution uses the physical site planning data (e.g., site location, beam width, antenna orientation) and subscriber activities to detect the coverage footprints of the LTE-FDD, LTE-TDD and 5G-NR sites. By using this information, P.I. Works solution detects the sites that serve the same region and identifies the overlapping coverage footprint. This is an essential information needed for assigning the right hand-over actions to these sites. Machine learning algorithms embedded into P.I. Works solution also checks the consistency and integrity of the planning data to define the correct neighbor relations and enable flawless zero-touch network operations. Then the next step is to take smart load balancing actions that help subscribers benefit from the highest quality coverage signals across LTE FDD, LTE-TDD and 5G-NR sites.
A Successful Showcase of Automated mMIMO Management
P.I. Works recently deployed its automated mMIMO management solution to Turkcell’s network. Turkcell has been adding new technology capabilities to its LTE network and recently deployed mMIMO to provide increased network capacity to a broader group of customers at peak traffic hours. Turkcell’s network has LTE-FDD and LTE-TDD (mMIMO) technologies and P.I. Works solution is used for offloading the LTE-FDD cells to higher capacity mMIMO cells. The automated load balancing actions handled approximately 50% more concurrent users and data volume in hotspot locations during busy hours.
P.I. Works and Turkcell see mMIMO as an important enabler of ultra-high performance mobile networks and a key driver of 5G transformation. Therefore, P.I. Works introduced automated mMIMO management capabilities to its Centralized SON solution that is deployed to Turkcell’s network. P.I. Works will continue to pioneer the network automation market and partner with the leading mobile operators around the world to deliver on the promise of 5G. For more information, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.I. Works also plays an important role in the development of key industry standards that define the future of mobile networks. P.I. Works actively contributes to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standardization forum, Global TD-LTE initiative (GTI) and open source initiatives.
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