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The increase of user traffic demand, the numerous and QoS-pretentious applications and services, as well as the evolving and emerging business models comprise prominent characteristics of the Future Internet (FI). They also comprise challenges that will necessitate significant alterations in the way that networks delivering FI services are managed, and which are insufficiently addressed by existing solutions. In this respect, autonomic systems exposing self-management and learning capabilities have appeared as the most viable direction for tackling the foreseen complexity and realizing the FI vision. At the same time wireless networking and its evolution will constitute an integral part of FI and thus, the adaptation and integration of the related exploratory work in autonomics into the existing wireless network management is a major challenge to address. The concept of Autonomic Wireless Network Management (AWNM) is the result of this integration. AWNM has been investigated by many research efforts, but also engaged working groups within major standardization bodies. This article will go through the most relevant related standardization activities and explain how autonomics-related ideas are integrated. In particular, 3GPP SON is considered as a rather near-time activity of the new trend in autonomic networking in the wireless domain; on the other hand, it is shown that IEEE DySPAN 1900.4/1900.4a and ETSI RRS Working Group 3 address more disruptive ways forward and are therefore targeting a mid- to longerterm time-frame. Extrapolating the inherent trends, the expected further evolution of the intelligently self-managed wireless communications framework is finally outlined.
Date of Publication: Nov. 2011