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Using NWDAF to create value in 5G use cases

Using NWDAF to create value in 5G use cases

Some of the most exciting use cases of 5G involve its low latency abilities. Whether it’s autonomous vehicles and robots in enterprises, drones in public safety or cloud gaming, 5G’s ability to slash round trip time brings a wealth of possibilities for time critical applications.

What is NWDAF and how does it support new 5G use cases?

NWDAF (Network Data Analytics Function) is a new network function that collects data from 5G Core network functions, performs network analytics and provides insights with closed loop automation to authorized data consumers. These include external users taking advantage of open APIs to help generate greater innovation and unlock new value. Nokia’s distributed NWDAF architecture makes analytics available where needed to meet the varying latency requirements of 5G use cases.

Nokia´s AVA NWDAF complies with 3GPP specifications for the 5G Standalone Core, which standardizes data use and analytics models to support product and service development. Its standardized approach to collect, analyze and expose data allows CSPs to manage, automate and optimize their 5G network operations much more efficiently. The cloud-native, multi-vendor and probeless solution simplifies the collection and analysis of data from networks and services.

Orange and Nokia evaluate NWDAF as a tool for low-latency 5G Standalone use cases

Orange and Nokia are entering into a collaboration to investigate the feasibility and value of deploying an NWDAF solution in Orange CN 5G networks. 

For Orange, the key aspects of this evaluation are the investigation of use case priorities for business, the choice of optimal analytics models (e.g. machine learning) per use case, the choice of optimal usage of each model by the requesting NF (e.g. call models: frequency of requests, requested accuracy, duration of analytics target period, targeted users etc.) and the integration with NWDAF and other NFs/AFs/OSS.

Orange does believe that the potential benefit of NWDAF is to anticipate local or global network congestion situations, in order to ensure traffic fluidity and perfect load balancing.  Other benefits are also expected, such as the possibility to create new business or prevent security issues on IoT deployments.  Among the use cases under discussion, Orange envisions NWDAF as a tool for future low-latency 5G SA use cases. One of the keys to this optimization is the short-term prediction of the user's location, in order to allocate the optimal network resources.

Identifying jointly new business cases with NWDAF based AI/ML driven network analytics

This collaboration will allow the companies jointly to identify new business cases with AI/ML driven network analytics, based on Nokia NWDAF solution. NWDAF solution is expected to improve network optimization, reduce operational cost and keep user experience at the highest level. NWDAF can support CSPs to make 5G proactive and predictive for various 5G use cases, offering predictive insights and QoE (Quality of Experience).

The solution helps CSPs put analytics at the network edge, offering several advantages – building 5G SA use cases with low or ultra-low latency; implementing analytics services defined by 3GPP; and creating partnerships with software developers.

Put analytics where they’re needed

To support ultra-low latency use cases, CSPs need analytics at the network edge. Nokia’s AVA NWDAF architecture achieves this by offering both edge and central NWDAF instances. The edge NWDAF serves low/ultra-low latency use cases while the central NWDAF serves use cases which do not have real-time requirements and includes functions such as the data and Machine Learning (ML) models repository for the continuous training of AI/ML models. 

This distributed architecture ensures the best user experience for ultra-low latency use cases, allowing CSPs to create new revenue possibilities with partners and customers. 

Fig. 1.

This type of partnership illustrates the opportunity for operators to rethink data management and increase the focus on use cases and application development.

For more information on Nokia AVA NWDAF see: Nokia AVA NWDAF | Nokia