Azure, Cloud Computing

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Deploy a Private Mobile Network Using Azure Private 5G Core

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Overview

As a component of an on-premises private mobile network for enterprises, Azure Private 5G Core Preview is an Azure cloud service for building and maintaining 5G core network services on an Azure Stack Edge device. For 5G Internet of Things (IoT) devices, the 5G core network function link with the conventional 4G and 5G standalone radio access networks (RANs) to deliver high performance, low latency, and secure communication. Enterprises have complete control and visibility over their private mobile networks thanks to Azure Private 5G Core. Let’s take a look into key features, benefits, and use cases in the below section.

Functionalities Provided by Azure Private 5G Core

Complete 5G core network functions

The subscriber database, policy control, control plane, and user plane are some of these network functions. These are all deployed on a multi-access edge compute platform.

Azure service management

For the private mobile network across many sites, Azure Private 5G Core offers a centralized software lifecycle and service administration. All management and monitoring tasks can be performed via the Azure interface and the Azure Resource Manager (ARM) APIs.

Azure visibility

To gather information from all of the sites and provide real-time monitoring of the complete private mobile network, Azure Private 5G Core interfaces with Azure Monitor and Log Analytics. This functionality can be expanded to include radio analytics, giving Azure users a full picture of the network.

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Features of Azure Private 5G Core

  • 5G core network functions including User Plane, Control Plane, Subscriber, and Policy deployed on Azure private MEC (multi-access edge compute).
  • Single multi-access core to support both 4G LTE and 5G standalone radio access network (RAN) from any vendor.
  • Centralized orchestration and automation of 5G core software, service management for configuration, and monitoring.
  • APIs to securely provision a SIM and monitor RAN metrics.

Key benefits

The organization will have full ownership of all data if a private mobile network is deployed using Azure Private 5G Core at the corporate edge. Additionally, it places the packet core instance as close as feasible to the devices it supports, reducing the need for cloud connectivity. This allows it to deliver low latency levels through local data processing when combined with application logic in the same location. This provides many valuable benefits such as:

Machine-to-machine automation – Ultra-reliable low latency connectivity (URLLC) for command-and-control messages from automated systems (like robots or automated guide vehicles). These messages can be processed in real-time to prevent stalling, enabling high productivity.

Massive IoT telemetry – Secure cloud connectivity for data collection from a large density and volume of IoT sensors and devices. Data for health assessment and automated systems can be processed in real-time to prevent accidents and ensure on-site safety.

Real-time analytics – Local processing of real-time operational and diagnostics data. For example, live video feeds can be processed at the edge at minimal expense using AI, ensuring vital actions aren’t delayed.

Use Cases

  • Azure Private 5G Core can leverage low latency with the security and high bandwidth offered by private 5G networks. This puts it in the optimal position to support Industry 4.0 use cases, such as the following:
  • Manufacturing – Production-line analytics and warehouse automation with robots.
  • Public safety – Mobility and connectivity for emergency workers and disaster recovery operatives.
  • Energy and utilities – Backhaul networks for smart meters and network slicing/control.
  • Defense – Connects command posts and battlefield with real-time analytics.
  • Smart farms – Connects equipment for a farm operation.

Security for Azure Private 5G Core Preview

Azure Private 5G Core allows service providers and system integrators to securely deploy and manage private mobile networks for an enterprise. It securely stores network configuration and SIM configuration used by devices connecting to the mobile network.

Azure Private 5G Core consists of two main components that interact with each other:

  • The Azure Private 5G Core service, hosted in Azure. The management resource is used to create the private mobile network, manage sites, provision SIMs, and deploy packet core instances to sites.
  • Packet core instances, hosted on Azure Stack Edge devices. The packet core provides connectivity to mobile devices at an edge location.

Azure Centralized Monitoring

Azure Private 5G Core is integrated with Log Analytics in Azure Monitor, as described in Monitor Azure Private 5G Core with Log Analytics. You can create queries to find records or create charts to display data. This enables you to immediately access the Azure portal to monitor and analyze the activity.

Picture2

Source:https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/private-5g-core/media/azure-private-5g-core/log-analytics-tool.png#lightbox

Conclusion

So according to my conclusion and research, deploying a private mobile network using Azure Private 5G Core at the enterprise edge ensures complete ownership of all data by the enterprise. The 5G core network functions connect with standard 4G and 5G standalone radio access networks (RANs) to provide high performance, low latency, and secure connectivity for 5G Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Azure Private 5G Core gives enterprises full control and visibility of their private mobile networks. For more information, one can always refer to the azure blogs.

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Drop a query if you have any questions regarding Azure Private 5G Core and I will get back to you quickly.

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FAQs

1. Where is Azure Private 5G Core available?

ANS: – The cloud components of Azure Private 5G Core can be deployed in the US East Azure region. However, the service itself runs on Azure Stack Edge on-premises. Additional Azure regions will be announced in the future.

2. What infrastructure do I need to deploy for Azure Private 5G Core?

ANS: – Azure Private 5G Core deploys the 5G core network functions on the Azure Stack Edge Pro SKU. You’ll need to purchase this Microsoft hardware through Azure.

3. Will I be able to deploy a mobile network using this service?

ANS: – Yes. You’ll be able to deploy a private 5G network for enterprise scenarios with this service. In addition to the 5G core software, you’ll need to purchase components such as SIMs and RANs to complete your workflow. The ecosystem of trusted Private 5G Core partners can provide you with these components.

WRITTEN BY Ayush Jain

Ayush Jain works as a Research Associate (War and Media Services) at CloudThat. He is Azure Security and Azure Fundamentals certified. He has a positive attitude and works effectively in a team. Ayush loves learning about new technology and trying out different approaches to problem-solving.

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