Mobile network operators (MNO) are transitioning their existing 4G networks into the 5G network. This transition requires a massive investment in time and capital. New monitoring and analytics are needed to ensure these investments deliver on the promise of 5G.
Unlike 4G networks that mainly had two monolithic components:
- Radio Access Network (RAN) that was implemented by the 4G Evolved Node B (eNB).
- and a core part that was implemented mostly in a very centralized architecture with the 4G Enhanced Packet Core (EPC).
5G network brings a new distributed architecture designed to meet the ever-increasing demand for bandwidth and provide low latency communication. The 5G architecture introduces a myriad of new elements with the network’s distribution happening in both the RAN and core.
The 5G RAN can be distributed and implemented by three different components: the CU (Centralized Unit), the DU (Distributed Unit), and the RU (Radio Unit). These units are then further split into the control plane and user-plane elements. This architecture also introduces new reference points with new protocols like E1, F1.
The Core part of 5G introduces a distributed user-plane topology based on the User Plane Function (UPF), which, for the first time, supports the cascading of user-plane elements.
The centralized architecture of 4G networks enabled a straightforward monitoring and analytics approach by providing a single monitoring software solution with probes with links that were easily deployed. The mobile operator’s centralized data centers offer 100% coverage throughout the network parts, including the RAN and Core. 5G monitoring, however, requires an entirely fresh approach.
The new 5G distributed architecture and the introduction of new components, reference points, and protocols means that monitoring all the distributed details requires probes’ distribution into multiple locations. This new architecture adds to a drastic increase in data and signaling volumes. The probes then must be smart-probes and perform analytics.
Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) is a perfect solution for the virtualization and deployment of 5G probes. MEC is access agnostic, which means it can be deployed on all the new links introduced by the 5G distributed architecture. MEC supports flexible traffic forwarding and mirroring into multiple probes. With MEC’s ability to support full life cycle management of the analytic probes, whether deployed as virtual machines or containers, it creates a perfect solution for monitoring and analytics for 5G networks.
5G’s new distributed architecture creates new opportunities for mobile network operators. But to make sure the network is performing without malfunctions and eliminating all blind spots, a new virtual and distributed approach is required. Saguna has a MEC solution that supports traffic mirroring and forwarding and its capabilities to host VM’s and Containers. The MEC is the perfect solution to deal with distributed probes and analytics software even at the very far edges of the 5G network
Saguna is a pioneer in edge cloud computing. Contact us today to find out more.