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Home > News Room > NEC Develops World's First 3D Simulator for LTE SON

NEC Develops World's First 3D Simulator for LTE SON --- Improving the Efficiency of Mobile Operators' LTE Network Deployment and Operation ---

Barcelona & London, February 15/Tokyo, February 16, 2010 - NEC Corporation (NEC) today announced the development of the world's first 3-dimensional Self Organizing Network (SON) (*1) simulator that checks the feasibility of SON, which is expected to play a key role in the autonomous optimization of networks.

NEC conducted a trial SON simulation for LTE with 25 base stations in a 6-km2 central area of Yokohama, Japan, where it was confirmed that the base stations' handover configurations were automatically optimized and dropped calls were prevented. It was also confirmed that base station energy consumption was saved, without degrading communication quality, through implementation of an autonomous sleep control that responded to the hour of the day.

SON networks collect and analyze data from operational base stations and user terminals in order to measure the quality of network data, such as radio signal levels and data throughput, and then autonomously adjust configurations, such as transmission power. For mobile network operators, SON networks are expected to significantly reduce the frequency of field surveys, including radio quality tests that require dedicated measurement instruments, and improve network quality.

NEC has developed the "3-dimensional Simulator for LTE SON" in order to verify the effectiveness of SON in urban settings by evaluating LTE system performance amid 3-dimensional radio propagation.

Simulator features are as follows:-

  1. Verification of SON performance under 3-dimensional radio propagation in an urban environment
    The simulator quickly and accurately predicts 3-dimensional radio propagation characteristics in urban environments, while taking radio wave reflection and diffraction by terrain and buildings into account. The use of 3-dimensional radio propagation estimates enables the impact of wireless dead spots in the upper floors of high-rise buildings to be accurately evaluated. Moreover, the simulator makes it possible to evaluate SON in more realistic radio propagation conditions than conventional mobile network system simulations that use regular cell layout and simplified radio propagation models.

  2. Verification of SON performance amid user mobility in an urban environment
    The simulator automatically generates user mobility models based on urban features that include road width, intersection geometry, building size and number. Using these user mobility models, handover (*2) performance is evaluated under real urban transportation conditions, and base station workloads are calculated according to user density. The simulator evaluates SON based on these realistic user mobility conditions to reach conclusions that are more accurate than conventional user mobility models that randomly estimate individuals' movements.

NEC regards this achievement as a fundamental technology for LTE network operators' efficient deployment and operation of SON. As part of early promotion of the simulator, NEC intends to incorporate verified SON into NEC base stations and network management systems.

NEC will demonstrate the simulator at the "Mobile World Congress 2010"exhibition in Barcelona, Spain from February 15-18, 2010.

For an overview on the "LTE SON 3-dimensional Simulator," please refer to the attachment.

About NEC Corporation
NEC Corporation is one of the world's leading providers of Internet, broadband network and enterprise business solutions dedicated to meeting the specialized needs of a diversified global base of customers. NEC delivers tailored solutions in the key fields of computer, networking and electron devices, by integrating its technical strengths in IT and Networks, and by providing advanced semiconductor solutions through NEC Electronics Corporation. The NEC Group employs more than 140,000 people worldwide. For additional information, please visit the NEC website at:

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*1: SON (Self Organizing Network)

SON technologies automatically improve the efficiency of mobile operators' network deployment and stabilize operations as part of Long Term Evolution (LTE), a next-generation mobile communication specification. SON collect and analyze data from operational base stations and user terminals in order to measure the quality of network data, such as radio signal levels and data throughput, then autonomously adjust configurations, such as transmission power.

*2: Handover

The process of switching radio cells that users are connected to while they are changing locations.

Press Contacts:

Kosuke Yamauchi
NEC Corporation

Chris Shimizu
NEC Corporation

Rebecca Atherley
NEC Europe Ltd.

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