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Infonetics Survey: Mobile Operators Leaning on Self-Organizing Networks to Keep Opex in Check

Market research firm Infonetics Research released excerpts from its 2013 SON and Optimization Strategies: Global Service Provider Survey, for which Infonetics interviewed wireless, incumbent, and competitive operators around the world about their network optimization strategies and self-organizing network (SON) deployment plans.


“Mobile operators know they need to keep network operating expenses under control, and they’re placing a big bet on SON while acknowledging the complexity of and their unease with automation that minimizes human intervention and maximizes computerization,” notes Stéphane Téral, principal analyst for mobile infrastructure and carrier economics at Infonetics Research.

“Nonetheless, the ultimate goal is to use cell planning and field testing for zero-touch, self-healing networks,” Téral continues, “But it’ll take some time to get there. SON’s just started, after all.”


  • 87% of operators participating in Infonetics’ survey have deployed SON in their networks, up 27% from a year ago
  • SON is building momentum in 3.5G network optimization: A few large incumbents have already deployed SON as the key optimization tool for their 3.5G networks, and this trend appears unstoppable
  • A large majority of operator respondents view “overall implementation” as the #1 technical challenge when implementing SON
  • Two-thirds of respondents are evaluating centralized SON (C-SON) vendors Celcite and InfoVista to manage their distributed SON (D-SON) LTE networks
  • By 2015, 100% of those surveyed plan to use network- and handset/subscriber-based tools for mobile network optimization, reflecting the growing influence of SON on network self-learning


For its 28-page SON and optimization survey, Infonetics interviewed independent wireless, incumbent, and competitive operators in EMEA, North America, Asia, and Latin America about their network optimization strategies and SON deployment plans. The study provides insights into SON features, drivers, implementation barriers, technical challenges, and vendors. Operators surveyed together represent 1/3 of the world’s telecom capex and carrier revenue and 25% of all mobile subscribers. To buy the report, contact Infonetics:



Download Infonetics’ 2013 market research brochure, publication calendar, events brochure, report highlights, tables of contents, and more at


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N. America (West), Asia Pacific: Larry Howard,, +1 408-583-3335

N. America (East), Midwest, L. America: Scott Coyne,, +1 408-583-3395

EMEA, India, Singapore: George Stojsavljevic,, +44 755-488-1623

Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan:


Infonetics Research ( is an international market research and consulting firm serving the communications industry since 1990. A leader in defining and tracking emerging and established technologies in all world regions, Infonetics helps clients plan, strategize, and compete effectively. View Infonetics’ About Us slides at

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