Having full visibility of your entire network is vital to a communications service provider (CSP) in order to meet and exceed customer experience targets. This is even more important in 5G where there are so many different use cases and applications running on the network, with varying performance requirements and metrics.
5G promises to be the dawn of the IoT, where ubiquitous connectivity will support multiple devices, applications and protocols, and where customers will experience varying levels of quality of service. In 5G, service assurance and testing will be key to aiding root cause analysis, along with network and configuration change verification. To successfully build and operate a 5G network requires intelligent automation, which relies on actionable insights obtained from effective service assurance tools and applications.
A Service Assurance System (SAS) is expected to identify the worst performing cell, cluster, vendor equipment or technology within various multi-vendor & technology scenarios and should be able to indicate the need for immediate attention, inspection or further analysis. Such SAS tools must have the ability to provide search capabilities to all supporting business processes, and on all stored business data/information, including ad-hoc queries, saved queries, user queries, role-based queries, shared and public queries.
The cost and potentials available with 5G makes it imperative that CSPs are able to perform end-to end testing and also independently test the different network functions and components within the 5G network before integration.
To mitigate against the cost of deployment, network functions are being virtualised, which further increases the complexity of the network. How end user devices (mobile phones, fixed wireless access devices (FWA), IoT devices etc) perform within a network under differing RF conditions / environments is important to both CSPs and the equipment manufacturers.
To guarantee network performance, emulating segments of the network is required for effective and efficient testing. Core network functions can be duplicated, giving operators the ability to independently test the impact of varying RF environments, whilst also testing unique network functions in an end-to-end environment ahead of a network wide deployment.
Key 5G features such as ultra-low latency, network slicing and the inherent dependence on cloud and virtualisation techniques introduce another layer to the complexity of networks, resulting in tougher service monitoring challenges for providers.
Our 5G Service Assurance and Testing solutions offer:
- Continuous assessment of security posture, the prioritisation of risk mitigation & the ability to address regulatory requirements.
- Test methodologies across multi-vendor network function virtualisation infrastructure (NFVI) & high speed time sensitive networks.
- Traffic generators and network emulation tools and applications across all network functions.
- Virtualised Probes monitoring, assessment & triaging performance & experience across the live network.
- 5G network visibility applications to automate & optimise complex 5G environments & processes (DevOps, testing).
- Network and customer analytics and insights.