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User Plane Function

The user plane function (UPF) is the data plane in the 5G core (5GC). After the Access Gateway Function (AGF) authenticates the subscriber and establishes a protocol data unit (PDU) session, the session management function (SMF) selects the UPF for the subscriber. The UPF provides the following functionality:

  • Subscriber tunnel encapsulations enabled by the GPRS tunneling protocol, user plane(GTP-U)

  • Packet routing and forwarding

  • Quality of service (QoS) and buffering

  • Policy enforcement

  • Statistics gathering and reporting

  • Lawful intercept requests processing

  • Optional advanced services

Juniper supports the UPF both on an MX platform, both when the platform is dedicated to the UPF and when the UPF is colocated with the Access Gateway Function (AGF) on the platform.You can configure the UPF as a target UPF or as an intermediate UPF. A target UPF communicates with the data network over the N6 interface. An intermediate UPF performs the role of an uplink classifier and communicates with other UPFs over the N9 interface.

AGF and UPF Colocation

Juniper supports the colocation of user plane functions (UPFs) on the same MX router. In the 5G architecture, the Access Gateway Function (AGF) forwards data packets to the UPF over the N3 interface. Conceptually, the colocated AGF and UPF send data packets internally over the N3 interface to each other. When the UPF and the AGF are colocated, you can still configure the UPF to be both a target UPF and an intermediate UPF.

When you colocate the AGF with the UPF, the UPF operates on the edge of the network. Therefore, user application data can have lower latency and higher throughput.

To enable a colocated UPF, include colocated-user-plane at the [edit services agf user-planes user-plane-name] hierarchy.

For more information on configuring UPFs, see