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What are the 5G Core Network network functions ?

Today, I had a chat with a Tech Explorer, simplifying the details of 5G Core technology.

Tech Explorer: Hey, I’ve been digging into 5G Core architecture, and I came across this “Service-Based Architecture” (SBA) thing. What’s the deal with that?

Me: Oh, the 5GC architecture is all about this Service-Based Architecture (SBA) framework. Instead of the usual “Network Entities,” they’ve gone for “Network Functions” (NFs). These NFs interact via a common framework, offering services to other authorized NFs and even to external “consumers.” It’s all about modularity and reusability, you know?

Tech Explorer: Nice! So, what’s cooking in the 5G Core functions?

Me: Well, they’re following this Control and User Plane Separation (CUPS) strategy from 3GPP Release 14. The User Plane Function (UPF) handles packet processing and traffic aggregation, and the cool part is that it’s decoupled from the control component. This means it can be placed closer to the network edge for better bandwidth efficiency, higher data rates, and lower latencies.

Tech Explorer: That’s a game-changer. What about the control plane?

Me: In the control plane, we’ve got the Access and Mobility Management Function (AMF) handling connections and mobility tasks, and the Session Management Function (SMF) taking care of session management. AMF passes connection info to SMF, which then establishes sessions using UPF.

Tech Explorer: Got it. And what’s this Policy Control Function (PCF) all about?

Me: PCF is like the policy guru. It creates policies that other control plane functions can use. Think QoS policies, network slicing management, and managing subscribers, applications, and network resources.

Tech Explorer: Cool stuff. What about user authentication?

Me: That’s the Authentication Server Function (AUSF). It handles authentication and Unified Data Management (UDM) for user identification, authorization, and subscription management.

Tech Explorer: Nice lineup! Any additional players in the 5G game?

Me: Oh yeah, we’ve got some supplementary functions. The Network Repository Function (NRF) helps AMF pick the right SMF. NRF and Network Slice Selection Function (NSSF) work together for network slicing, and then there’s the Network Exposure Function (NEF) that lets third-party apps securely access 5G services. Oh, and the Application Function (AF) exposes an application layer for interacting with 5G network resources.

Don’t miss our 5G Core and 5G Slicing Training to better understand 5G QoS in standalone network.



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