Spirent’s Landslide 5G Core (5GC) Automation Package contains test cases that network engineers can use to develop functional and performance tests, among others.
Core networks perform many functions in cellular networks such as authenticating users, providing subscribed services, security, and connecting users to requested applications. 3GPP defines standards for how these 5G network functions communicate. As a result, testing them can get complex. That’s where automation helps.
Testing core network functions involves not only testing each function but testing them together before deployment in the network. That’s where Spirent’s Landslide 5G Core (5GC) Automation Package can help. Service providers can avoid developing their own test cases and automation applications. The figure below shows the test flow. A host PC runs the high-level software (test executive) that takes test parameters. Once entered, the test parameters pass to the Landslide, which hosts the test suite.
The subscription-based service, which runs on Spirent’s Landslide test server, provides network engineers with a set of automated test cases. The test software measures parameters such as compliance to specifications, capacity (number of sessions), performance (adding/removing subscribers), and latency.
“Network cores have traditionally consisted of boxes located in local and national datacenters,” said Anil Kollipara, Senior Director of Product Management at Spirent. “5G changed that. and now network cores can reside in the cloud. Functions can reside anywhere. This has put the burden of testing on the service provider as where previously, equipment manufacturers performed that testing.”
Testing begins in the lab, where engineers test network functions individually at first. That requires equipment that emulates the rest of the network. Test cases, running on the test platform perform that emulation. Once individual function testing is complete, groups of functions can be tested together.
Service providers will likely use Spirent’s complete set of functions. Network equipment manufacturers might not provide all functions might select to perform only certain tests. The test suite let’s engineers characterize network functions before adding them to the network.