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How to measure the deterministic performance of private wireless network easily?

How to measure the deterministic performance of private wireless network easily?

Asset-intensive enterprises are deploying 3GPP-based private wireless networks in their operational technology (OT) environments to provide connectivity that meets the strict availability and reliability requirements of critical industrial use cases. Whether using 4.9G/LTE or 5G, these networks also outshine other wireless technologies in key performance areas such as multiuser capacity, radio coverage, reliable low latency, and high-speed mobility but in multi-use cases networks, understanding the exact performance is important – particularly when introducing new use cases. 

To get full value from private wireless networks and from the most demanding use cases, enterprises benefit from measuring and consistently monitoring their performance. Fortunately, 3GPP has defined a comprehensive mobile network performance measurement scheme that can be used for private wireless networks, too. 

The scheme is based on predefined key performance indicators (KPI) for mobile network radio and core network elements as well as an end-to-end perspective from the user equipment (UE) to the egress point of the mobile network. It includes KPI categories such as:

  • Accessibility KPIs, which measure how users are succeeding in accessing the private wireless network
  • Retainability KPIs, which measure the stability of the established sessions
  • Integrity KPIs, which measure the quality of the sessions in terms of throughput and latency
  • Mobility KPIs, which measure session continuity during mobility

The 3GPP network elements are responsible for creating these performance metrics and making them available for monitoring by the private wireless network’s operations, administration, and maintenance (OAM) function. Although 3GPP KPIs can provide a nearly holistic view of a private wireless network, they do not cover the IP transport network that interconnects its components.

Including the IP transport network in performance management

Beside leveraging the in-built performance metrics of the network equipment’s, the best way to measure IP transport performance for a private wireless network is to use the Two-Way Active Measurement Protocol (TWAMP) creating two types of logical entities in the network: the session-reflectors and the session server. Radio access points and routing/switching elements are typically the session reflectors while the central core network appliance is the session server. As its name indicates, TWAMP can monitor IP traffic in both directions and provide precise measurements for KPIs such as packet loss, latency, jitter, packet duplication and overall utilization.

Interpreting the mass of performance metrics

When the 3GPP, IP routing/switching equipment’s own and TWAMP KPIs are added together, it can be challenging to create a simple yet consolidated overview of the vast number of performance metrics flooding from a private wireless network. 

To address this challenge, we apply Nokia DAC Network Operations Dashboard to create a coherent simple to understand view of the network performance data. It is based on an open-source, flexible, configurable data visualization platform. It enables operational users to see data from different sources through graphs, charts, heatmaps and histograms that are consolidated into customizable dashboards. These dashboards make it easier to interpret and understand the performance KPIs and alarms. 

Performance measurement and alarm monitoring with Nokia DAC  

Nokia Digital Automation Cloud (DAC) enables enterprises to measure and monitor the performance and alarms of their private wireless networks in two ways.

Alarms and performance metrics are available in Nokia DAC Manager. Additionally, they can be available in Network Operations Dashboard in a customized way through the DAC OSS API in the DAC cloud. The Nokia DAC Network Operations Dashboard are offered as a subscription-based service hosted in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud. Nokia manages the full lifecycle of the dashboards, including installation, pre configuration and customization of the dashboard. 

Figure 1

Performance and alarm monitoring in Nokia DAC via Network Operations Dashboard as a service

Operational users of Nokia DAC can benefit from Network Operations Dashboard rich features, flexibility, and ability to consolidate diverse network performance data into simple dashboards and reports. Those capabilities can make it easier to manage the performance of the private wireless network, which leads to increased operational efficiency, better support for critical OT use cases and a better customer experience. 

Find out more

Visit our website to learn more about how private wireless networks powered by Nokia DAC can meet your mission-critical connectivity needs and accelerate your journey to Industry 4.0.

Vasumathi Narasimhan

About Vasumathi Narasimhan

Vasumathi (Vasu) Narasimhan is the Product Manage for Nokia Digital Automation Cloud (Nokia DAC) and is responsible for the NDAC private wireless roadmap. Currently Vasu is working with key accounts in NAM region, providing tailored Nokia DAC private 4G/5G solution and managing new feature requests. Her long-standing career in telecom industry combines experience from different wireless technologies and various areas including design, architecture, and product management. She is a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff, awarded in 2013 at Alcatel-Lucent. 

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