The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) unites seven telecommunications standard development organizations (ARIB, ATIS, CCSA, ETSI, TSDSI, TTA, TTC), known as the “Organizational Partners” and provides their members with a stable environment to produce the Reports and Specifications that define 3GPP technologies.

The project covers cellular telecommunications technologies, including radio access, core network and service capabilities, which provide a complete system description for mobile telecommunications.

The 3GPP specifications also provide hooks for non-radio access to the core network, and for interworking with non-3GPP networks.

The three Technical Specification Groups (TSGs) in 3GPP are:

  • Radio Access Networks (RAN),
  • Service & System Aspects (SA),
  • Core Network & Terminals (CT

The 3GPP technologies from these groups are constantly evolving through Generations of commercial cellular / mobile systems. With LTE, LTE-Advanced, LTE Advanced Pro, 5G and 5G Advanced work - 3GPP has become the focal point for the vast majority of mobile systems beyond UMTS/3G.

Although these Generations have become an adequate descriptor for the type of network under discussion, real progress on 3GPP standards is measured by the milestones achieved in particular Releases. New features are ’functionality frozen’ and are ready for implementation when a Release is completed. 3GPP works on a number of Releases in parallel, starting future work well in advance of the completion of the current Release.

3GPP Service & System Aspects Working Group 5 (SA WG5) is responsible for the 3GPP Telecom Management standards since Release 99, including management, orchestration, assurance and charging.  

SA WG5 specifies requirements, architecture, protocol technology neutral specifications and technology specific solutions related to management, orchestration and assurance of the RAN network domain, Core network domain, cross RAN and Core network domain. The solutions include management, orchestration and assurance of the 3GPP network and its services. Management operations, management models, data definitions, design principles and methodology are specified. Self-organizing networks (SON), introduction of AI/ML, management analytics, closed loop assurance, autonomous network levels and other autonomous capabilities in management domains are also important aspects addressed in SA WG5.

SA WG5 specifies charging architectures, functionalities and protocols associated to the network and its services encompassing the 3GPP technologies and interworking with non-3GPP networks. The solutions include capabilities for end user charging, Service Provider charging, as well as wholesale roaming.

Role & Activities

The 3GPP SA WG5 is responsible for the management and charging of the 3GPP-defined network and services. SA WG5 provides the 3GPP wide management view in coordination with the Core Network (CN) and the Radio Access Network (RAN). The 3GPP SA WG5 standard is continuously updated in order to take into account the developments in the network and service technology specified in all 3GPP Working Groups.

3GPP-defined network and service management

The following 3 aspects (Intelligence and Automation, Support of New Services, Management Architecture and Mechanisms) are currently the main focus of the Rel-18 standardization scope for 3GPP-defined network and services management corresponding to the life cycle of planning, deployment, maintenance and optimization of the network.

Intelligence and Automation

With the continuous enhancement of network evolution, the coexistence of multiple RATs poses higher requirements for mobile network O&M. To better meet diversified network and service management requirements, the ability to support network intelligence and automation becomes the key to carriers' digital transformation. By sorting out the workflows in the network and service O&M lifecycle, it provides a standard basis for defining automation and intelligence levels in different scenarios. Automatic and intelligent O&M is combined with intelligent NE analysis and self-organizing network capabilities, with adopting advanced technologies such as AI/ML and intent-driven are used to help operators to select typical scenarios and evolve to L4 networks in a planned and step-by-step manner.

Support of New Services

The evolution of 5G and 5G Advanced network technologies provides a network foundation to support more diversified new services. Non-public network O&M, mobile edge computing management, and management capability exposure enable operators to quickly deploy new services on live networks and meet diversified commercial deployment requirements. Key quality indicators, deterministic service assurance process, and management and monitoring capabilities are open to new service consumers to monitor and measure service experience performance and ensure end-to-end user experience. Network energy efficiency provides standardized specifications for energy efficiency evaluation in multi-vendor and multi-RAT hybrid network environment. Energy saving management reduces overall network energy consumption based on network usage with minimizing the impact on network performance.

Management Architecture and Mechanisms

Service based management architecture and cloud-native virtualization technologies support cloud-based O&M evolution, enable O&M management to realize autonomy, and provide service based management services for external systems. Continuous Integration Continuous Development (CI/CD) technology takes advantages of IT experience in the telecommunication domain to ensure agile collaboration in a multi-partner joint development environment. Basic network O&M management, such as URLLC management, 5G-LAN management, network sharing management, minimization of drive tests and tracing data collection, slice provision rules, and network resource management models, provides basic network maintenance and interoperability in multi-vendor networks.

5G Charging

5G Charging specifies monetization capabilities under the renewed charging architecture and functionalities framework. This includes the charging services exposed by the Converged Charging System (CCS) as well as Charging Data Records (CDRs) definition and interface to the billing system associated to the different 3GPP domains and their services.

3GPP domains include 5G System domains (Data connectivity, Connection and mobility, Northbound Exposure function APIs, Edge Computing), IMS and the 3GPP management domain (e.g. for monetization in Network Slicing or Edge Computing areas).

3GPP services include 5GS services such as ultra-high reliability and low-latency communications (URLLC), 5G LAN, Proximity-based Services (ProSe), Cellular Internet of Things (CIoT), Short Message Service (SMS), and services of the management domain.

A set of monetization capabilities of 5G Charging leverages from Data Analytics services (supplied by 5GS or by the management domain).

For each domain and service, the following are specified:

  • The charging architecture with applicable entities in the domain (e.g. applicable 5G Network Functions)
  • The behaviour of charging services
    • ConvergedCharging with quota management for online charging and without quota management for offline charging
    • OfflineOnlyCharging
  • The charging services HTTP-based APIs
  • Charging Data Record (CDR) contents specific to the domain, service
  • The ASN.1 syntax for the Charging Data Records (CDRs)

Management prior to 5G-advanced

5G management includes the following features:

  • Service and Network Planning
    • SLA modelling and translating SLA requirements to network with cooperation efforts with GSMA and 3GPP SA WG1, SA WG2 and RAN groups.
  • Deployment
    • Network and network slicing management
    • NPN management 
  • Maintenance
    • Fault Supervision (FS) of network and network slicing
    • Performance assurance of network and network slicing 
    • Minimization of Drive Tests (MDT)
    • Trace management 
    • Quality of Experience (QoE) data collection 
  • Optimization
    • 5G SON management including self-configuration and self-optimisation
    • Energy Efficiency and energy saving management
    • Closed loop assurance
    • Intent driven management
    • Management data analytics
    • Network policy management for 5G mobile networks

LTE management includes the following features:

  • Configuration management and E-UTRAN and Evolved Packet Core (EPC) network resource models
  • Fault management for E-UTRAN and EPC network
  • Performance management for E-UTRAN and EPC network
  • Trace management for E-UTRAN and EPC network
  • MDT management for E-UTRAN and EPC network
  • SON management including self-configuration of eNB, ANR, self-optimization and self-healing.
  • Management of Home eNodeB and network resource models
  • Management and orchestration of mobile networks that include virtualized network functions
  • Network policy management for mobile networks based on Network Function Virtualization (NFV) scenarios
  • OAM (Operation, Management and Administration) aspects of LTE and WLAN integration

UMTS management includes the following features:

  • Configuration management and UTRAN, PS, CS and IP Multimedia System (IMS) network resource models
  • Fault management for UTRAN, Packet-Switched (PS), Circuit Switched (CS) and IMS network
  • Performance management for UTRAN, PS, CS and IMS network
  • Management of Home NodeB and network resource models

Charging prior to 5G

Charging specifies monetization capabilities under the charging architecture and functionalities framework evolution from Rel-99. This includes online charging and offline charging as well as Charging Data Records (CDRs) definition and interface to the billing system associated to the different 3GPP domains and their services.

3GPP domains include CS, PS, IMS and CP (Control Plane data transfer).

3GPP services include Location Service (LCS), Monitoring Event (MONTE), Multimedia Broadcast and Multicast Service (MBMS), Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), Multimedia Telephony (MMTel), Proximity-based Services (ProSe), Push-to-talk over Cellular (PoC) and Short Message Service (SMS).

For each domain and service, the following are specified:

  • The charging architecture with applicable entities in the domain (e.g. applicable network nodes)
  • Online charging, offline charging behaviours and CDRs, specific to the domain and service
  • The Diameter-based charging applications protocols
  • The ASN.1 syntax for the Charging Data Records (CDRs)


A full list of related standards in the public domain is accessible via:

the 3GPP website (28-series) or the standards search on the ETSI website.

the 3GPP website (32-series) or the standards search on the ETSI website.

Related Committees