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5G Network Monitoring and Tools

(Bern, Switzerland - Alvin Wei-Cheng Wong)


- Overview

Network monitoring tools collect data from network devices through network protocols and help track various performance metrics like traffic, bandwidth utilization, availability, and packet loss. 

Some categories of network monitoring include:

  • Availability monitoring
  • Configuration monitoring
  • Performance monitoring
  • Cloud infrastructure monitoring


- 5G: Everything Connected

The number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices worldwide is forecast to almost triple from 8.74 billion in 2020 to more than 25.4 billion IoT devices in 2030. IoT devices are used in all types of industry verticals and consumer markets, with the consumer segment accounting for around 60 percent of all IoT connected devices in 2020. This share is projected to stay at this level over the next ten years.

The telecom industry is undergoing a significant transformation with the arrival of 5G. While 3G networks were built to deliver voice and 4G brought us mobile broadband, 5G will connect everything, and it will deliver new use cases that we haven't even dreamed of yet. 

From a consumer standpoint, 5G could bring unprecedented speeds and ultra-low latency that many believe will allow for lightning-fast downloads, enable AR/VR experiences and more. However, enterprises will also be impacted by new 5G networks, as 5G could enable autonomous cars, factory automation, fixed-wireless access, IoT communications, and even analytics.


- 5G Network Monitoring and Network Security

5G monitoring is a fundamental aspect of 5G network security. It involves continuously monitoring 5G networks through 24/7 log collection. Logs are gathered from various components, from user equipment (UE) to the core, providing insights into potential security events. 

5G security is the combined protection for the underlying 5G network infrastructure, traffic traversing it, and consumers of the network itself. 5G has designed in security controls to address many of the threats faced in today's 4G/3G/2G networks. 

These controls include new mutual authentication capabilities, enhanced subscriber identity protection, and additional security mechanisms. 


- Automation and Self-organizing Networks

The 5G ecosystem is designed to support different use cases, and supporting all of them requires a very flexible and intelligent network architecture. 

To achieve this, 5G systems are designed to take full advantage of software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV), integrating everything into a unique system based on an IP-oriented physical infrastructure. 

In order to achieve optimal optimization of resources and prevent bottlenecks and other network problems, all modern networks such as longer routes or packet loss should integrate some self-healing systems that can monitor resource status and act accordingly, leading the deployment of new infrastructure to the concept of a knowledge-defined network. 

Automation is one of the key drivers of 5G, and through the concept of self-organizing networks, the lifecycle costs of infrastructure are expected to decrease, as experienced by operators adopting it in LTE networks. Therefore, automation in next-generation mobile networks will play a strategic role, requiring advanced agents to coordinate and manage the infrastructure. 

Ideally, these will be powered by AI algorithms. However, all AI algorithms require large amounts of data for training in order to have a system capable of taking reliable and correct actions. As such, monitoring traffic and other metrics in the 5G core network represents one of the enablers for this technology.



[More to come ...]

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