5G Core (5GC) Network Test Solution
3GPP is defining both a new 5G core network, referred to as 5GC, as well as a new radio access technology called 5G “New Radio” (NR). Unlike previous generations that required that both access and core network of the same generation to be deployed (e.g. Evolved Packet Core (EPC) and LTE together formed a 4G system), with 5G it is possible to integrate elements of different generations in Standalone (SA) and Non-standalone (NSA) different configurations.
Significant feature of 5G is its capability to support enormous services and applications, massive connections, new channel coding scheme at very high bandwidth—up to 20 Gbps and utilizing very high frequency bands up to 100 GHz as well as the legacy cellular frequency bands. The 5G can also operate in the existing LTE frequency bands, or in even smaller bands, as the usable bandwidth is scalable.
However, deploying high-quality voice, video, and data services over 5G has posed significant challenges for service providers, due to backward-compatibility, inter-operability, and high-quality requirements – all of which requires rigorous testing.
As depicted in the figure above, the End-to-End 5G network comprises of 5G Access Network (gNB), Access and Mobility Management Function (AMF), Authentication Server Function (AUSF), Network Slice Selection Function (NSSF), Unified Data Management (UDM), Session Management Function (SMF), and User Plane Function (UPF) connected to Data Server or Application Functions and to EPC/IMS core for interoperability.
GL’s comprehensive Signaling and Traffic Emulation Suite for 5G Wireless Networks, referred commonly as MAPS™, provides a unique “programmable, scriptable” framework that is independent of any protocol or network, makes it easy to perform cross-domain testing and transition tests to new technology such as 5G. The core network and all its underlying entities can be accurately tested for functionalities and performance.
In addition, GL’s comprehensive QoS Test Suite for 5G Wireless Networks provides a unique VQuad™ Solution for evaluating voice and data quality independent of the underlying network such as Cellular/Wireless networks, Land Mobile Radios and Wired networks. When linked with the GL VQT Analyzer, one can automate Voice POLQA measurements and evaluate true ‘User-Experience’ in real-time.
GL’s Monitoring Probes for 5G Wireless Networks capture CDRs, detect fraudulent activities, alert on critical parameters, measure KPIs, and performance statistics.
Emulate Core Network Functions - 5G NR
- End-to-End 5G Network Simulation
- Emulates 5G - UE+gNB, AMF, SMF, UPF, AUSF, UDM, UDR, NSSF, NRF
- VoLTE support
- Feature and Functional Testing
- Performance Testing
- Inter-Operability Testing
- Migration Testing
- Advanced Voice Feature Testing - IVR, Voice Recognition, Speech-to-Text
- Simulate Massive UEs (up to 64,000) with Voice Traffic
- Simulate User-plane GTP traffic at high line rates (up to 40 Gbps)
- Assess Voice Quality (eModel, PESQ, POLQA)
Monitoring Core Network – 5G NR
- Voice Quality, Data Retention, Lawful Interception, Fraud Detection
- Record thousands of Voice Calls - Filter & Record Only Calls-Of-Interest
- Capture up to 30,000 Simultaneous Voice Calls
End-to-End Voice, Video, and Data QoS Testing
- Speech metrics such as PESQ, and POLQA
- Automated data testing - TCP, UDP, VoIP, Route, HTTP, FTP, DNS, SMS, Email and more
- The solution also provides other metrics such as delay, packet loss, drops, and more
- True performance of VoLTE, 5G can be realized
- Supports both core network access network simulation
- Easily integrate with third-party access network to simulate entire core network.
- Emulated Core Network Elements – 5G NR – UE+gNB, AMF, SMF, UPF, AUSF, UDM, UDR, NSSF, NRF
Call Scenarios 5G
- Basic connectivity of devices to a 5G network (including interoperability between 5G and LTE networks)
- IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) services delivered over NR
- Massive 5G VoLTE UE and Traffic Simulation
- Inter-operability and roaming scenarios
End-to-End Voice and Data Quality Testing on 4G/5G Networks.
- Simulate massive UEs (up to 64,000) with voice calls
- Simulate User-plane GTP traffic at high line rates (up to 40 Gbps)
- A stack of multiple servers can provide larger capacities of up to 100K-200K calls (all controlled from a single Master Controller) for enterprise to carrier grade testing
- High volume VoLTE traffic requires MAPS™ HD RTP appliance
- High volume PS traffic requires MAPS™ PacketLoad appliance
Feature and Functional Testing
- Supports simulation of Invalid scenarios
- Any of the network elements in the above architecture can be replaced with user's DUT to perform single interface, multi-interface, or wrap-around testing
- Single Interface Test Setup - With this solution, a single interface can be tested using MAPS™, which can embed in itself all the functionalities of the entities interacting with this interface.
- Multi Interface Test Setup - With this solution, DUTs over different interfaces can be tested simultaneously using a single MAPS™, which provides all the required functionalities over these interfaces.
- Wrap Around Test Setup - With this solution, vendors can test their DUT by replacing all the nodes interacting with the device with appropriate MAPS™ products
Voice Feature Testing
- Testing higher quality voice performance (any codec support) – EVS, OPUS, AMR, EVRC, G.726, and many others
- Automated IVR testing
- Speech-to-Text conversion and analysis
- Advanced Voice Features – Call Conferencing, Call-transfer, Call-Forwarding, Caller-ID, Caller-ID Waiting, Call-hold
Statistics and Reporting
- Supports detailed statistics and user defined statistics with graphs
- Graphical representation of Calls per second, and maximum simultaneous calls
- Supports PDF report generation
Signalling and Traffic Simulation over 5G
MAPS™ 5GC Network emulator can simulate multiple UEs and elements such as UE+gNB, AMF, SMF, UPF, AUSF, UDM, UDR, NSSF, NRF which forms the 5G core network. The Emulator is designed to test 5G NR base stations (gNBs) and 5G Core Network Functions (NF) according to 3GPP Release 15 standards. With the help of mobile phones, and other simulated wireless networks, the VoLTE Lab setup can be operated in real-time for making VoLTE calls and for interworking with PSTN and VoIP networks. It includes ready-to-use scripts, as per IETF specification. Test scripts include general messaging and call flow scenarios for multimedia call session setup and control over IP networks.
GL’s End-to-End Wireless Network Simulation Test Suite provides you an advanced full-fledged “Live Network” at your company premises in any customized package to suit test requirements. The test suite provides reliable integrated solutions to vendors and service providers for simulation, monitoring, troubleshooting the any wireless network, including, 4G, 3G, 2G and upcoming 5G. All functionalities conform to industry standards.
GL’s MAPS™ supports simulation of 5GC network interfaces - N1, N2, N3, N4, N6, N8, N9, N10, N11, N12, N13, N14, N22, and other GTP interfaces.
- Supports emulation of several 5G interfaces (N1, N2, N3, N4, N6, N7, N8, N9, N10, N11, N12, N13, N14, N22)
- Supports generation and verification of traffic over LTE, including VoLTE (Voice), Email, FTP, Web (HTTP), Video, and more with additional licenses - Mobile traffic core – GTP (ETH101) and Mobile Traffic Core – Gateway (ETH102)
- Supports 5G-LTE based technologies such as VoLTE
- Simulate up to 500 Smartphones (UEs) powering up and down
- Integrate 5G core network easily with any other networks (wired or wireless) to test any call scenario It can simulate various nodes across LTE network –
- N1, N2 interface - gNodeB (also called Next Generation RAN), and AMF (Access and Mobility Management Function) nodes
- Authenticate and confirm security procedures
- QoS requests for greater or lesser bandwidth
- Temporary addressing management for mobility and security
- Provides data connectivity and services.
Supported procedures include both roaming and non-roaming, including interworking between 5GS and EPS, mobility within 5GS, QoS, policy control and charging, authentication and in general 5G System wide features such as SMS, Location Services, Emergency Services.
|Test Conformance of 5G elements to 3GPP standards
|System Architecture for the 5G
||3GPP TS 23.501 V2.0.1 (2017-12)
|NG Application Protocol (NGAP)
||3GPP TS 38.413 V15.2.0 (2018-12)
||3GPP TS 24.501 V15.2.1 (2019-01)
|GPRS Tunneling Protocol for Control Plane (GTPv2-C)
||3GPP TS 29.274 V15.2.0 (2017-12)
|NR and NG-RAN Overall Description
||3GPP TS 28.300 V2.0.0 (2017-12)
|Packet Forwarding Control Protocol (PFCP)
||3GPP TS 29.244 V15.4.0 (2018-12)
|MAPS™ 5GC Emulator testing gNodeB (DUT)
||MAPS™ gNB Emulator testing 5G Core Network (DUT)
Monitoring 5GC (VoLTE) Networks
GL's PacketScan™ - an All-IP Network Monitoring software offers powerful features to capture and monitor live signaling and traffic over IP. PacketScan™ with Voice, Data, and Video QoS capability addresses customers long felt need of call quality analysis in IP networks.
- Capable of capture, decode and perform various test measurements between any two nodes across various interfaces of the 5G network
- Support for wide-range of codec, including AMR and AMR WB – visit Voice Codec webpage for more details.
- Supports QoS parameters such as E-model (G.107) based MOS/R-Factor scores, Media Delivery Index (Delay Factor: Media Loss Rate) for video calls, Jitter, Delay, and Gap for Audio and Video traffic
- Segregates, captures, and collects statistics on VoIP and Wireless calls
- Live monitoring of traffic statistics - digits, tones, voice, video, and T.38 fax over IPv4 and IPv6 (version 4 and version 6) networks
- Monitors QoS (quality of service) on voice and video calls
- Supports both real-time and offline analysis
- Trace files for analysis can be loaded through simple command-line arguments.
- Decode and analyze full 5G N1N2 protocol stack.
- Test gNodeB or UE over N1, N2, N3, N4, N6, N8, N9, N10, N11, N12, N13, N14, N22 interfaces of 5G network.
- The protocols supported for decoding across all these interfaces are NAS, NGAP, GTP-U, SCTP, UDP, TCP, and IP.
As an example, the screenshot below illustrates how VoLTE call is easily decoded in GL’s Packetscan™ All-IP analyser
Typical VoLTE Call Captured 5G Network
Visit PacketScan™ for Wireless Networks webpage for more details. For centralized web-based monitoring network, visit NetSurveyorWeb™ page.
Voice, Data, Video QoS
End-to-End Voice, Video and Data Quality Testing
Automated VQuad™ Test Script Execution
Using GL’s VQuad™ with the Dual UTA HD, or all-in-one VQuad™ Probe HD, along with centralized analytical tools, voice, data, as well as video quality can be tested simultaneously on a wireless or wired network.
Since the GL’s VQuad™ solution is network independent, all Voice and Data networks are supported including 3G, WiMax, 4G LTE, Advanced LTE and the upcoming 5G. And since the GL’s VQuad™ solution supports both Narrowband and Wideband traffic, VoLTE testing is fully supported.
GL’s VQuad™ NetTest solution provides automated data testing on Mobile Devices (Android and Apple) as well as PC based internet connections. The Data Testing includes TCP, UDP, HTTP, FTP, DNS, VoIP, SMS, and Email tests. GL’s Video Application Part (VAC) supports Video Conference testing between any two VAC Agents. GL’s VAC Agents can be installed on any Android device, Win PCs or Linux box. GL’s Voice Quality Testing (VQT) supports automated voice quality between any two nodes within the network using latest ITU based algorithms including Perceptual Objective Listening Quality - POLQA (ITU-P.863) and PESQ (ITU-P.862). The POLQA algorithm is specifically used for testing Wideband voice networks.
- Complete end to end voice, data, video quality testing of LTE 4G/5G network-visit Automated Network Wide Testing
- Automated test statistics and results across next generation LTE network can be accessed via web interface
- Connect to Mobile Phones, Smart Phones, and Broadband Devices using GL’s portable VQuad™ - Dual UTA HD system
- Test LTE 4G/ 5G devices for Voice, Data, Video quality metrics with complete automation and centrally controlled system
- Use GL’s VQuad™ - Dual UTA HD to confirm quality of service during the network upgrade process
- VQuad™ can remotely perform Automated Data Testing on any Android or IOS mobile devices (running the GL NetTest app), irrespective of where the phone is located, and whether the phone is on a voice call or not.
- Perform automated data testing on PC-based Broadband Internet (Broadband 3G/4G/LTE, WiFi, Wired) and on Apple/Android Mobile Devices – tests include TCP, UDP, HTTP, VoIP, FTP, DNS, SMS, UEInfo, SimInfo, and PhoneInfo
- Supported devices - Mobile Radio (PTT) & Mobile Phones (VoLTE, 4G, 5G, 3G, Wi-Fi, WiMax)
- Supports both Narrowband (8k sampling rate) as well as Wideband (16k sampling rate) connections for use in networks utilizing the AMR-WB codec
Visit Complete Voice and Data Quality webpage for more details.
As an example, the screenshot below illustrates the HD voice quality measurement using POLQA–
HD Voice Quality Testing for Wireless Networks
- VQT software includes industry standard voice quality analysis algorithms – POLQA and PESQ
- POLQA testing is available for VQuad™ interfaces
- VQT can be configured for fully Automated analysis of recorded voice files
- Full Reference algorithm (FR) measurements with high accuracy for dedicated tests in live networks
- POLQA analysis results include POLQA MOS, E-Model, Signal Level, Noise Level, and Jitter
- Real-time mapping of results with GPS option used in conjunction with VQuad™. Results mapped in WebViewer™ using Google Maps
- The results can be accessed remotely from a database using the WebViewer™, displayed in both tabular and graphic formats
Visit Voice Quality Testing webpage for more details.