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5G Testing - N1/N2 Nodes and Interfaces

The dsTest N1/N2 Interface Application supports the physical N2 interface between the NG-RAN gNodeB (gNB) and the Access and Mobility Management Function (AMF) in the 5G Core (5GC) network as well as the logical N1 interface between the UE and the AMF. N2 is the control plane interface between an Access Network — NG-RAN or non-3GPP WLAN — and the 5GC. It is primarily concerned with connection management, UE context and PDU session management, and UE mobility management. In addition, Non-Access Spectrum (NAS) signaling between the UE and the AMF is transported over the N2 connection for that UE. This signaling includes information regarding access control, authentication and authorization, and session management procedures. Furthermore, delivery of services to the UE such as SMS, delivery of policies to the UE, and obtaining location information from the UE are achieved through the N1 interface.

Use our AMF emulator in your 5G testing to ensure procedure and protocol compliance of your gNodeB network element towards the 5GC. Test your AMF network element with our gNodeB simulator to test not only procedure and protocol compliance but also its capacity and performance. With dsTest you can easily scale a test to simulate thousands of gNodeBs and millions of subscribers.

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Read more about dsTest capacity and performance.

As with all dsTest products, the node configurations and test scenarios are easily defined and configured with XML files that are validated against a published XML Schema to avoid invalid definitions. With our dsClient Desktop application you can create, run, and archive tests; capture, graph and archive operational measurements; capture real-time data flows and subscriber events; and manage your dsTest platforms and testing scenarios with a standalone application that runs on your PC.

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N2 Implementation

dsTest supports the following N2 procedures:

  • Interface management — NG setup, RAN configuration update, AMF configuration update, NG reset, error indication, AMF status indication, overload start, and overload stop
  • Configuration and status transfer — downlink/uplink RAN configuration and RAN status transfers
  • Warning message — write-replace warning, PWS cancel, PWS restart indication, and PWS failure indication
  • Paging
  • Trace — start, failure indication, deactivate, and cell traffic trace
  • NAS transport — initial UE message, downlink/uplink NAS transport, NAS non-delivery indication, and reroute NAS request
  • UE context management — initial context setup, context modification, and context release
  • PDU session management — resource setup, notify, modify indication, modify, and release
  • Mobility management — UE handover preparation, resource allocation, notification, and cancellation and path switch request
  • Radio capability management — UE radio capability info indication, UE radio capability check
  • UE Transport Network Layer Association (TNLA) binding release

N1 Implementation

dsTest supports the following 5G Mobility Management (5GMM) procedures across the N2 interface:

  • NAS signaling connection establishment, re-establishment, and release
  • Primary authentication and key agreement using EAP or 5G AKA
  • Security mode control
  • UE registration and deregistration
  • Identification
  • Generic UE configuration update
  • Service request
  • Paging
  • Notification
  • PDU session establishment, modification, and release
  • NAS transport of 5G session management (5GSM), SMS, transparent container, or UE policy container payloads
  • 5GMM status and 5GSM status
  • eCall inactivity

Advanced Testing Features

SmartEvents — Alter application behavior or coordinate multiple interface applications with SmartEvents — our programmable, subscriber-level state machine. All dsTest applications are event-driven, enabling you to easily alter subscribers’ activities. Use our visual composer to draw your state machine and to trace a single subscriber’s path through the state machine while the test is running. Define event handlers that affect a subscriber’s behavior in an application, or that trigger an event in another application. You can also configure handlers to modify subscriber information during run-time, introduce timers, or randomize subscriber behavior based on configurable probabilities to name just a few of the many options in one of dsTest’s most powerful features.

Traffic Profile — Draw the shape of your test actions across time with Traffic Profile. You can define the rate for any action as a static rate or reference a Traffic Profile configuration, which also means that multiple Traffic Profiles can be running concurrently. Use Traffic Profile in conjunction with the randomizing features in SmartEvents to design a test that more truly simulates real-world network activity.

Operational Measurements

dsTest provides rich sets of measurements for the N1/N2 interface:

  • Transaction and transport layer attempts, successes, and failures
  • Transaction duration, transactions-per-second, and round-trip delay
  • Message and byte counters
  • Errors encountered and error indications received in messages

See our Online Help for N2 measurements and socket measurements.

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N1/N2 Protocol StackReference Standards