The native 5G network monitoring: NWDAF

NWDAF Services

NWDAF is introduced in R15 in the 23.501 specification, with its details outlined in 23.288 and 29.520. In its capacity as a Service Producer it has two services defined in the R16 standards that enable Network Consumers (e.g. the PCF) to receive various analytics from the NWDAF.

In order to perform that task the NWDAF collects data from a number of Network Functions (NFs).

The list of analytics the NWDAF can provide is already impressive in R16, and expected to grow in the future. At the moment it contains:

  • Slice load information
  • R16 analytics
  • Observed service experience
  • NF load
  • Network performance
  • User equipment (UE) mobility
  • UE communication
  • Expected UE behaviour
  • User data congestion
  • Potential QoS change

The detailed list of events can be found in 29.520.

It will be interesting to see how this development might affect the current approach of the mobile operators to monitoring both their network performance, and the UEs. It seems to be a tool especially useful in the current environment where mobile networks are expected to provide transport for very different applications with a great diversity of communication and mobility patterns.

For more information on the 5G CN see Apis “5G Core Network Architecture” course.

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