Developments in 5G Assurance Capabilities

This diagram sets out the uses for 5G assurance data – split by the types of analytics/ML needed (going down the rows) and those requiring the data (going across the columns):

The blue boxes show activities which increase in importance in a 5G network:

  • Issue prediction, automated root cause analysis and adaptive thresholds for KPIs are not new – but more important due to hybrid networks and multiple new services
  • Assurance of VNFs – including performance monitoring and fault management up and down the stack
  • New requirements for RAN assurance including monitoring of service quality issues in the HetNet and capabilities to help assurance in instances of shared ownership between telcos
  • Service/slice lifecycle management where assurance data is required within the design-deploy-assure activities of both services and slices
  • The last columns for enterprise/ecosystem partners include a list of existing and newer requirements from third parties

The pink boxes highlight functionality which is not often included in the products of the 20 or so vendors tracked for this research. VNF assurance and application monitoring are two non-traditional products which gain importance in 5G. Although it is debatable whether traditional telco assurance vendors should prioritise their development.

The provision of assurance to enterprise customers is gaining traction with the vendors interviewed for this research. Seven out of the 12 had, at least, basic reporting products available.