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Introduction

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 and 5G 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.

5G management

The following features are in the standardization scope for 5G management corresponding to the life cycle of planning, deployment, maintenance and optimization of the network.

Service and Network Planning

The service requirements communicated between communication service customer and communication service provider are very important. SA WG5 provides the 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: With provisioning management service for network and network slicing, the network provider provides the network, network slice and network slice subnet deployment according to customer service requirements. The provision service uses the network resource model for RAN, CN for the network deployment. For management of network slicing, the network slice model and network slice subnet models are used for the deployment of network slice and slice subnet.

NPN management: A non-public network (NPN) is deployed on an organisation’s defined premises such as a campus or a factory to provide coverage within a specific geographic area. 3GPP SA WG5 also provides management solutions for a variety of NPN deployment scenarios including Stand-alone Non-Public Network (SNPN) and Public Network Integrated NPN (PNI-NPN).  

Maintenance

Fault Supervision (FS) of network and network slicing providing FS Control and FS data report management services for network, network slice and network slice subnet.

Performance assurance of network and network slicing focusing on the performance measurement and KPI definitions for 5G Radio Access Network (RAN), 5GC, network slice and network slice subnet. The measurement control, PM data file reporting and Performance data streaming management services for network, network slice and network slice subnet are provided.

Minimization of Drive Tests (MDT) focusing on the drive test data collection information definition, as well as the collection mechanism of MDT for 5G network.

Trace management focusing on the trace data definition and trace collection mechanism for 5G network.

Quality of Experience (QoE) data collection focusing on the collection mechanisms of QoE information for a specified end user service or end user service type either from UEs or in a specified area. The collected information is transported to a collection centre, where it can be analysed or KPIs can be calculated.

Optimization

5G SON management: Self-Organising Networks (SON), which encompasses solutions for network self-configuration and self-optimisation. SON is categorized into four different solutions that are possible for implementing various SON use cases, including Centralized SON (e.g. Cross Domain-Centralized SON, Domain-Centralized SON), Distributed SON and Hybrid SON. The SON algorithm implements self-configuration and self-optimisation of network parameters through Monitoring, Analysis, Decision, Execution and Evaluation.

Energy Efficiency and energy saving management: Focusing on 5G energy efficiency assessment and optimization for energy saving of 5G networks. The definition of EE KPI and measurements for 5G Radio, 5G Core and related virtualization network functions are defined as well as energy saving management use cases, requirements and information model.

Closed loop assurance: Closed loop assurance helps operator to continuously deliver the expected level of communication service quality, by automatically reconfiguring the mobile network resources when performance degradation impacts the communication service.

Intent driven management: Intent driven management service allows its consumer to express desired intent for managing the network and services. Following the intent driven approach, operators will need to indicate the network management intent without spending too much time on the integration details, so that operators could spend more efforts on the orchestration of network to satisfy the new service deployment needs.

Management data analytics: Management data analytics can be performed to diagnose the network performance and predict potential failure or performance degradation. The management system can benefit from management data analytics services for improving networks performance and efficiency to accommodate and support the diversity of services and requirements.

Network policy management for 5G mobile networks: focusing on network policy built on service-based management architecture.

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) and the 3GPP management domain (e.g. for Network Slicing monetization).

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 charging services behaviour and Charging Data Record (CDR) contents specific to the domain, service
  • The charging services HTTP-based APIs
  • The ASN.1 syntax for the Charging Data Records (CDRs)

Management prior to 5G

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)

Standards

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.