Daniel King – Old Dog Consulting

Improved communication infrastructure depends on accepted norms, including standards and best practices, to ensure interoperability, facilitate scale, and reduce network deployment and operation costs.

Increasingly, technology standards organisations are defining parameters indicative of new network characteristics to be achieved at an operational level; these are known as benchmark key performance indicators (KPIs).

The Test, Measurement and KPIs Validation (TMV) Working Group, founded as part of the 5G PPP effort, promotes commonalities across projects with a strong interest in Testing & Monitoring (T&M) – known as the 5GPPP TMV WG.

The 5GPPP TMV WG develops test and measurement methods, test cases, procedures, and KPI formalisation and validation, ranging from R&D to early-stage deployments for 5G, beyond 5G, and 6G networks. The WG activities include:

  • Testing KPI definition, KPI sources, collection procedures and analysis;
  • Testing frameworks (requirements, environment, scenarios, expectations, limitations) and tools;
  • Testing methodologies and procedures;
  • KPI validation methodologies;
  • Testing lifecycle (i.e., testing execution, monitoring, evaluation and reporting);
  • Common information models for 5G T&M.

We are now in the 6G research era, where visionaries and researchers are interplaying to define a vision for 6G. To ensure the direction of innovations towards realising 6G, new KPIs must be defined early to help steer the process. The KPIs are either evolved from previous generation KPIs or are new and being defined in coordination with the definition of new features and use cases.

The recently published (June 2022) 5GPPP TMV WG White Paper "Beyond 5G/6G KPIs and Target Values" documents KPIs from active B5G and 6G research projects. The paper consists of two main technical parts. The first part provides an overview of standard network KPIs with defined target values for 5G systems. Typically, these are well-known KPIs that will be evolved to 6G by changing target values. The second part presents KPIs collected from ICT-52 research projects aimed at B5G and 6G systems. The defined KPIs are grouped according to KPI type or context and are presented with references to standards and target values.

The TeraFlow project's involvement within the 5GPPP TMV WG, specifically the recent "Beyond 5G/6G KPIs and Target Values" whitepaper, relates to various enhanced ICT-52 project KPIs, including availability, policy, security conformance, and network slicing. An example of the "Security Conformance" KPI is provided in figure 1 below.

KPI name (project) Security conformance
Projects TeraFlow
3GPP Rel. 18 docs 3GPP TR 33.916[19), 3GPP TR 33.818[20]
Project definition Conformance to security constraints. NetworkSlice controller authentication. Date integrity of a network slice.
Standard definition Security Assurance Methodology (SECAM) Security Assurance Specifications (SCAS)[17]
Target value (project) Note that the use of security or the violation of this SLO is not directly observable by the network slice consumer and cannot be measured as a quantifiable metric.
Other remarks KPI monitored using ECA-based policy management.

Figure 1: "Security Conformance" KPI defined in "Beyond 5G/6G KPIs and Target Values" white paper.

Over the coming months, these KPIs will be used by the TeraFlow SDN controller framework and disseminated to the broader industry. In addition, the TeraFlow project will continue participating in several 5GPPP TMV WG activities during the project's life.