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Key performance indicators 

Key performance indicators are the critical indicators of progress toward an intended result. They provide objective evidence of progress towards achieving the desired result, it measures what is intended to be measured to help inform better decision making, it offers a comparison that gauges the degree of performance change over time, it can track efficiency, effectiveness, timeliness, quality, governance, compliance, project performance, etc., and are balanced between leading and lagging indicators. 

KPI categories: 

  • Inputs: it measures (amount, type, categories) of resources consumed in processes that produce outputs.
  • Process: it is the activity that focuses on how the efficiency, quality, or consistency of specific processes used to produce a specific output.
  • Outputs: they are the result measures that indicate how much work is done.


5G KPIs are grouped into three major categories: eMBB (Enhanced Mobile Broadband), URLLC (Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications), mMTC (massive Machine Type Communications). The 5G technology use cases include broadband access in dense areas, high user mobility, massive IoT, tactile internet, natural disaster, e-health services, broadcast services, etc. 

  • Peak data rates : Downlink-20gbps, Uplink-10gbps
  • Peak spectral efficiency : Downlink-30 bits/sec/Hz. Uplink-15bits/sec/Hz
  • Data rate experience by user : Downlink-100 mbps, Uplink-50mbps
  • Area traffic capacity : Downlink-10Mbits/sec/m2 in indoor hotspots   
  • latency (user plane) : 4ms for eMBB, 1ms for URLLC
  • Connection density : 1 * 106 devices/ Km2    
  • Average spectral efficiency : indoor hotspot - DL:9/UL:6.75, dense urban - DL:7.8/UL:5.4, rural - DL:3.3/UL:1.6
  • Energy efficiency: efficient data transmission, low energy consumption
  • Reliability: More reliable 
  • Mobility : Dense urban - upto 30 kmph, rural - upto 500 kmph
  • Mobility interruption time : 0ms
  • Bandwidth: at least 100 MHz, up to 1 GHz for operation in high-frequency bands i.e above 6GHz. 

5g kpis

The development of new communication networks is dependent on the emergence of globally accepted standards to ensure interoperability, economies of scale for cost-effective deployments and end-users.  A KPI is a measurable value that displays how effectively a network is serving a user. We can expect a new matrix to make the network KPI prominent and defining it is going to be a challenge for the network operator. 

5G KPI will be under the following categories: 

  • Accessibility
  • Retainability 
  • Availability 
  • Mobility 
  • Integrity 
  • Utilization 

Accessibility KPI: A request from a network likely prompts the user of a service to proceed within the specified conditions. In 5G, successful registration for network slices is an indication of moving to the UE. If users or customers cannot register in the network slice instance, they cannot use any network services in the network slice instance. 

Retainability KPI: It is used to measure how the network keeps the user’s possession or able to hold and provide the services for the users.  

Integrity KPI: It is the property that data is not unauthorizedly altered and service integrity is the degree to which a service is rendered without excessive loss.

Utilization KPI: It describes the mean number of KPI PDU sessions that are successfully established in the network slice instance. 

Availability KPI: It is used to measure the availability of the network, suitable or ready for users to use services. 

Mobility KPI: It is used to measure the network’s performance, which can handle the movement of users and retain the service for the user.  

KPI definitions template: 

  • Long name (mandatory): this field shall contain the long and descriptive name of the KPI.
  • Description (mandatory): this field shall contain the description of the KPI. 
  • Logical formula definition (mandatory): the logical formula should describe what the KPI formula is logical. 
  • Physical formula definition (optional): this field should contain the KPI formula description using the 3GPP defined counter names.
  • Measurement names used for KPI (optional): it should list the measurement names used for KPI.
  • KPI object (mandatory): it shall describe the object of KPI - NR and NG-RAN, 5GC, and 5GS.
  • Unit of the KPI (mandatory): percentage, time interval, erlang, Kbits/sec.
  • Type of the KPI (mandatory): it describes the type of the KPI - MEAN, RATIO, CUM.
  • Remark (optional)

5g kpi system

Challenges in meeting the 5G KPI

The IMT-2020 (International Mobile Telecommunications - 2020)  standardizes the requirements of a 5G network and was issued by the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) in 2015. The requirements specified are :

  • 1ms latency
  • 10-100x connected devices
  • 10-year battery life
  • 90% reduction in energy usage
  • 1000x capacity
  • Perception of 99.9999 % availability
  • Perception of 100 % coverage
  • 10-100x data rate 

Several technological improvements and milestones have been developed to meet the 5G KPIs.