Pitfalls of Testing a 5G Core Network

The introduction of 5G mobile architecture goes beyond just the new, faster radios. 5G introduces dramatic design changes to mobile network design to better support the ever-increasing requirements for bandwidth, reliability, and security.  

The combination of hardware and software to authenticate subscribers and devices, personalize policies and route traffic requires that new base stations or nodes that need to connect to the core network be thoroughly tested. Until recently, those options for testing were resource or cost-prohibitive. 

Valid8 has developed a 5G core emulation platform that offers flexibility, privacy, and configurability to test new base stations or nodes before deployment.  

Companies deploying a base station or any other 5G node to connect to the core need a method to test the node. Not testing the node before deployment creates a high level of risk. If the base station or other node isn’t tested, there is the risk of the node not operating as expected, or as specified, potentially impacting network reliability, security or creating other issues on the network.   

In addition, sales executives want the ability to demonstrate their node to potential customers in a “real word” environment at customer meetings or trade shows.  

Typically testing or demonstrating on a 5G core network is costly. Companies would have to purchase an expensive deployable core from a provider. Often 5G deployable cores are either not available, due to high demand, or cost-prohibitive – often more than $250K.  

Devices must be tested, what are other options? 

Since purchasing a core is high-priced, some companies may decide to develop the core themselves or work with a development partner.  This can be not only costly but can tie up valuable time and resources needed for other activities.   

Another risk to partnering is the visibility of coding limitations or design flaws of the node to the partner. For example, during a test it may be revealed that a field has been coded incorrectly, this level of error, easily corrected, it best worked through internally rather than exposed to a partner or 3rd party.  

With Valid8’s 5G Core Emulator test engineers have the flexibility to emulate the 5G core in a lab or virtual environment. User-friendly, comprehensive, cost-effective and flexible, Valid8’s 5G Emulator includes available extensive support and a clear upgrade path through Valid8. Businesses can be confident in their current and future testing.

Our next blog post will detail the capabilities of Valid8's 5G Core Emulator.

Look for our White paper on this topic coming soon.