As the industry transitions from 2G/3G to 4G networks and equipment based on Long Term Evolution (LTE) technologies, the ability to automate management processes has emerged as a key technology requirement. TR 36.902 of the Third Generation Partnership Program (3GPP is one of several specifications and technical documents under development that address the issue of self-organizing or self-optimizing networks (SONs). SONs configure and optimize networks automatically to minimize operational effort and improve network performance. This paper discusses the technology challenges carriers and equipment manufacturers face and how SON addresses them.