As 5G makes radio access networks more complex, automated RAN planning is becoming a must to consistently set and optimise the huge number of parameters associated with large numbers of new sites and transmitters. Automated RAN planning processes and workflows also enable mobile network operators (MNOs) to deploy advanced 5G features such as network slicing and zero-touch provisioning.
RAN Planning Automation: definition and goals
Automation of RAN planning can be defined as embedding traditionally manual or semi-automated RAN planning activities in operators' automated RAN operations.
RAN planning automation aims at automating massive country-wide operations such as site selection as well as routine daily & weekly optimisation tasks. Automation also allows ensuring consistent design and optimisation of radio access networks by applying normalised enterprise-wide business logic. RAN planning automation ultimately provides operators with accelerated time to market, optimised CAPEX and OPEX, and improved quality.
RAN Planning Automation Use Cases
Typical use cases for RAN planning automation include:
- 5G site selection
- Country-wide coverage and capacity optimisation
- Site parameter optimisation
- Cell ID planning
To address such use cases, RAN planning automation software platforms need to deliver on-demand RAN planning and optimisation services through a cloud-native architecture that can easily fit into operators’ virtual network operations using industry-standard APIs and containerisation techniques.
Further Evolutions Allowed by AI in RAN Planning Automation
AI-driven processes will further extend RAN planning automation by leveraging massive amounts of data that become available to mobile operators. Typical data that can feed automated AI-driven processes include call traces, crowdsourced data, and network KPIs.
Naos: RAN Automation for Wireless Network Planning and Optimisation Workflow
Naos is a scalable, service-oriented, cloud-based platform that enables the automation of wireless network planning and optimisation processes. Naos provides mobile operators with a framework for building their own automated RAN planning and optimisation workflows.