SON, which can also stand for self-optimizing network, is a concept with some similarity to software-defined networking (SDN) in that it involves making the network more flexible. But SON developed independently, and the term tends to be specific to the wireless network.
The idea is to spread out traffic among cellular towers — a resource allocation exercise. When one tower gets overloaded, it should be able to offload some users to a neighboring tower. It’s all done in the name of throughput and reliability.
Nokia, being a giant of the cellular world, has its own SON technology. It launched the iSON Manager, a multivendor SON controller, at Mobile World Congress in March and cited a trial in the live LTE network of Korean giant KT.
Eden Rock’s EDEN-NET is another multivendor SON offering that Nokia says is complementary to iSON Manager. The multivendor aspect is important not only because of market leader Ericsson, but also because Nokia is in the process of acquiring Alcatel-Lucent, a deal expected to close next year.
Based in Bothell, Wash., Eden Rock was founded in 2007 and most recently raised $7.2 million in venture funding in 2012. Among its customers is T-Mobile US, which was announced about a year ago.