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Troubleshooting 5G SA

The success of 5G SA depends on consistent quality of experience. Speed to resolution assures this.

Troubleshooting 5G SA is key

5G networks bring high expectations of performance and availability. Successfully troubleshooting 5G SA, leveraging adaptive data collection and full RAN-to-core visibility, is key to accelerating the deployment of differentiated 5G services that meet demanding consumer and industry expectations.



Troubleshooting 5G standalone means navigating complex environments comprised of physical, virtualized and cloud-native components in the context of dynamic network and service topologies. Data pulled from multiple sources (network functions, infrastructure and probes) must be knitted together to provide real-time end-to-end visibility and support root cause analysis.


Control plane (CP) and user plane (UP) separation make it difficult to relate the network layer with the service layer. Troubleshooting 5G standalone requires a new set of cloud-native tools that can monitor sessions across CP and UP, capturing events, traces and xDRs from RAN-to-core in real-time and correlating them together for actionable insight.

Service quality

5G promises an explosion of devices and new levels of bandwidth (eMBB) and responsiveness (URLLC). Maintaining service quality while delivering on enterprise SLAs will be key to market adoption and 5G financial success. Being able to rapidly detect issues and quickly correlate them with service quality and subscriber impact is essential to successful 5G troubleshooting.

Change drivers

5G SA networks will host a wide range of applications and devices reliant on mission critical connectivity and edge computing. Keeping a clear view of the UX of each user and device–and maintaining 5G RAN and core network performance–is the new challenge for operations and engineering teams. However, only 2% think their current service assurance systems are enough. (GSMA Mobile World Live survey, 2021).

5G standalone demands new troubleshooting tools across multiple data sources for timely, actionable insight.

Sources of change

Dynamic network and service topologies

Network automation and orchestration mean that the network picture is constantly changing. Virtualized and cloud native functions that are deployed and torn down in real time make it difficult to troubleshoot issues affecting the user experience.

Control plane and user plane separation

Service providers are putting CP and UP functions where they are most cost-effective. However, this split hampers real-time visibility, while there is a need to correlate user experience KQIs and trace every session and event.

More devices covered by SLAs

Billions of new devices, many with high performance expectations and strict service level requirements, are coming online, while network complexity makes existing troubleshooting approaches a thing of the past.

A tsunami of data

At scale, data intensive monitoring quickly becomes cost-prohibitive. Adaptive data collection significantly cuts the processing, storage and network resources typically associated with a “keep everything just in case” approach.

The path forward

There is a new cloud-native approach for troubleshooting 5G standalone that offers full end-to-end visibility, that leverages adaptive data collection to reduce the need for compute, storage and network resources while promoting real-time insight, and that correlates network performance and the user experience across user and control planes with rich metrics and xDRs.

EXFO’s solutions for troubleshooting 5G standalone enable service providers to deliver on the promise of 5G.


Adaptive probing and data capture

Orchestrator-driven cloud-native probes can be instantiated where and when they are needed. Adaptive probing and data capture reduce compute and storage resources by up to 90% while providing the xDRs, metrics and other data required to take action.

Automated anomaly detection and root cause analysis

AI and machine learning enable service providers to automatically detect and measure customer-impacting events in real time, including knowing who is impacted, where and for how long.

Event correlation and data enrichment

Real-time correlation of events across control and user planes, network traces and raw packets, faults and telemetry. Generation of context-rich XDRs that speed analysis. Intuitive ladder diagrams and protocol decoding tools highlight critical events along the service path.

Data ingestion across multiple sources

Ingest network function events, infrastructure observability, performance data from third party probes, and RAN session records for a complete picture of network performance and customer experience to accelerate MTTR. Stream metrics and KPIs across open interfaces to share actionable insight with existing systems.


Successful 5G service assurance enables service providers to accelerate the deployment of 5G SA and bring to market the use cases that generate the new revenues counted upon to fund network expansion

De-risk the journey to 5G standalone

Troubleshooting 5G standalone requires tools that can cut across network generations, including 3G/4G/5G NSA as well as VoLTE and IMS, to surface the right data needed to analyze and resolve customer-impacting service impairments. Real-time visibility of 5G SA performance provides the confidence to deploy new 5G use cases.

Deliver the best customer experience

Rapidly identify and resolve QoE issues with per-subscriber drilldown to detailed call traces correlated with network events, geolocated insights and user plane KQIs. Automatically identify the most customer-impacting events and prioritize them for resolution.

Enable faster MTTR and root cause analysis

Leverage detailed live or historical multi-dimensional troubleshooting across control and user planes, 5G and 4G networks–from RAN-to-core, network to subscriber–to restore service faster.

Deliver 5G use cases that drive new revenues

With the ability to quickly identify service impairments and the tools at hand to drill-down to their root cause from RAN to core via live and historical data, now more than ever service providers can launch new 5G use cases with confidence.

Reel in assurance resource consumption

Adaptive service assurance reduces the cost of compute, storage and telemetry of traditional approaches by up to 90% while maintaining comprehensive RAN to core visibility for in-depth, automated troubleshooting.


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