Wireless 5G Core Network

IP Network Simulation

5G N4 Interface Simulation

MAPS™ 5G-N4 can simulate and test Session Management Function (SMF) and User Plane Function (UPF) elements. SMF in the 5G N4 interface is primarily concerned with managing the UE’s PDU sessions.

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Overview

GL’s Message Automation & Protocol Simulation (MAPS™) 5G-N4 Interface Emulator is an advanced protocol simulator/tester for 5G simulation over N4 interface that can simulate PFCP messages and signaling specification as defined by 3GPP standards. As seen in the network diagram, N4 is the reference point in the control and user plane separation (CUPS) architecture.

The PFCP is found on the N4 reference point between SMF (Session Management Function) and UPF (User Plane Function). SMF carries the policy rules attained from the PCF regarding packet handling, forwarding, and usage reporting to the UPF, also implements Control and User Plane Separation (CUPS) in 5G core networks, providing control plane tunnel management and user plane Protocol Data Unit (PDU) sessions.

MAPS™ 5G-N4 can simulate and test Session Management Function (SMF) and User Plane Function (UPF) elements. SMF in the 5G N4 interface is primarily concerned with managing the UE’s PDU sessions. Its responsibilities include the establishment, modification, and release of the PDU sessions. UPF in the CUPS architecture is responsible for handling user data and reporting the traffic usage data to the SMF.

The CP function controls the packet processing in the UP function by establishing, modifying or deleting PFCP Session contexts and by provisioning rules in UPF regarding packet handling, forwarding, and usage reporting.

At the N4 node level procedures SMF and a UPF interfaces are used to manage and establish the items that are not related to specific N4 sessions.

Besides simulating network elements SMF and UPF, the tester also supports error tracking, regression testing, conformance testing, load testing/call generation. It can run pre-defined test scenarios against 5G interface test objects in a controlled & deterministic manner.

MAPS™ 5G-N4 Interface Emulator supports powerful utilities like Message Editor, Script Editor, and Profile Editor which allow new scenarios to be created or existing scenarios to be modified using messages and parameters.
GL’s MAPS™ 5G-N4 also supports user-plane packet transmission and reception with the purchase of Mobile Traffic Core - GTP (ETH101) licenses and supports simulation of user-plane Gateway traffic in 5G and LTE network with purchase of Mobile Traffic Core – Gateway (ETH102) licenses.

5G N4 Testing Features

  • Simulates 5G Core network functions - SMF (Session Management Function) and UPF (User Plane Function)
  • Supports 5G Control plane and User plane
  • Supported Traffic types include Mobile Traffic, and Packet Traffic
  • Generates and process PFCP (valid and invalid) messages
  • Supports customization of call flow and message templates using Script and Message Editor
  • Ready-to-use scripts for quick testing
  • Supports scripted call generation and automated call reception
  • Supports GTP Traffic (GTP User Plane Data), HTTP traffic generation capability
  • Provides Call Statistics and Events Status
  • Automation, Remote access, and Schedulers to run tests 24/7

Supported Protocols Standards



Control Plane for N4 Interface


Supported Protocols
Standard / Specification Used
N4 Interface

PFCP

3GPP TS 23.501 [28]
3GPP TS 23.502 [29]

UDP

IETF RFC 768

IPv4

IETF RFC 791 [5]

IPv6

IETF RFC 2460 [6]

Use Cases

5G N4 Interface Procedure

In 5G N4 interface, MAPS™ acts as either SMF to test UPF or UPF to test SMF simulating the following call control procedure.

  • MAPS™ N4 Emulator supported Procedures are -PFCP Session Establishment Procedure, PFCP Session Modification Procedure, and PFCP Session Deletion Procedure.

 

Node Related Procedures:

  • PFCP Heartbeat
  • PFCP Association Setup
  • PFCP Association Update
  • PFCP Association Release
  • PFCP Version Not Supported
  • PFCP Node Report

PFCP Session related messages:

  • PFCP Session Establishment
  • PFCP Session Modification
  • PFCP Session Deletion
  • PFCP Session Report

5G N4 interface Call Control Procedure

The below figures depict the Call Control Procedure simulation across 5G N4 interface between SMF and UPF.

5G N4 interface Call Control Procedure at SMF Node
(Call Generation)

5G N4 interface Call Control Procedure at UPF Node
(Call Reception)

Resources

Please Note: The XX in the Item No. refers to the hardware platform, listed at the bottom of the Buyer's Guide, which the software will be running on. Therefore, XX can either be ETA or EEA (Octal/Quad Boards), PTA or PEA (tProbe Units), UTA or UEA (USB Units), HUT or HUE (Universal Cards), and HDT or HDE (HD cards) depending upon the hardware.