How is the RIC different from SON?

Hello Experts.

Nice comparison between RIC and SON, from Mavenir.

Aspects SON RIC
Optimization Optimizes Management-plane operations of network elements and cell-level parameters Additionally, optimizes RRM for control-plane and user-plane procedures and user/bearer/session/flow-level parameters on a per-UE basis across RAN protocol stack.
Intelligence Cell-level analytics and performance data correlation across the RAN stack Additionally, UE-level cross-layer analytics and state/data correlation across the RAN protocol stack
Interfaces Proprietary interfaces with network elements and apps O-RAN standardized open interfaces with network elements and apps achieving multi-vendor inter-operability
Granularity Coarse-grained and non-real-time Additionally, fine-grained and near real-time (10 ms to 1 sec) using low-latency control loops
Policies Pre-built policies/objectives to operate on network data. Adaptive training and update of policies/objectives on-the-fly while operating on network data.
Performance monitoring No standard procedures for continuous performance monitoring Standard procedures for Continuous performance monitoring and ML/AI life cycle management

Here is the source (Where you can find more help about Traffic Steering, Near-RT RIC Architecture and E2 Interface and Use-Case Realization):

Fig: O-RAN architecture with the RIC components and the interfaces


SON and RIC are different by nature solutions.
We cannot compare that.
SON it is more about SW where as RIC has more about HW.
It reflects even more in the names of RIC = Radio Intelligence Controller.
SON is a program that could be for example part of OSS for PCI auto allocation.
Just example.

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