The architecture of a 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) fifth-generation (5G) network introduced, among other things, the dynamic control of user plane traffic through means of a User Plane Function (UPF). The selection of UPFs becomes an important task for the core network especially when multiple UPFs are involved. However, UPF selection is currently accomplished through the Domain Name System (DNS) and/or a static configuration, which does not provide a selection that is based on a number of hops or a delay between a gNodeB (gNB) and a UPF (or a Protocol Data Unit (PDU) session anchor (PSA)). To address the types of challenges that were described above, techniques are presented herein that support a dynamic selection of UPFs in a 5G network through the use of enhanced general packet radio service (GPRS) Tunneling Protocol (GTP) path management messages and enhanced Packet Forwarding Control Protocol (PFCP) messages. Under aspects of the presented techniques, a UPF probes the GTP-U peers (e.g., gNBs and other UPFs) to identify the distance and round-trip time to the GTP-U peers and that information is then sent to a Session Management Function (SMF) to facilitate a shortest (e.g., fewer hops) or a fastest (e.g., lowest round-trip time) UPF selection by the SMF.
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Lanov, Dennis, "SHORTEST PATH ASSISTED USER PLANE FUNCTION SELECTION ON 5G SESSION MANAGEMENT FUNCTION", Technical Disclosure Commons, (March 24, 2022)