5G NSA deployment vs. 5G SA deployment

In early stages of 5G network deployment, the mobile operators needs a fast solution to be able to dploy the 5G radio access sites, so that they can take the benefits of high data rates provided by them. Here comes the role of 5G NSA deployment.

While in later stages, the mobile operator deploys the 5G core network, so that the mobile operator can have a totally standalone 5G network including the access side, and the core side.

5G NSA (Non-Standalone) deployment

5G NSA (Non-Standalone) is an initial deployment of 5G mobile networks that uses the existing 4G LTE network infrastructure.

In 5G NSA architecture, the 5G radio sites are deployed alongside the 4G LTE radio sites. Both 5G and 4G radio sites are connected to 4G core network (Evolved Packet Core). So that the 5G radio sites are deployed as an additional radio access technology, providing 5G capabilities with higher data rates.

User Equipments (UEs) that can take benefit of this technology shall be able to use 'Dual Connectivity'. Which means that they can simultaneously connect to both the 4G and the 5G radio sites. Taking the advantage of high data rates provided by the 5G radio sites.

5G NSA deployment
5G NSA dployment

5G SA deployment

In 5G SA (Standalone) deployment,the 5G Core Network (5GC) is deployed in the mobile network. So that 5G radio sites are combined with the 5G core network, without relying on a 4G LTE core network for core network functions.

This unlocks the full potential of 5G, enabling advanced features and capabilities, such as network slicing, edge computing, and ultra-reliable low-latency communication (URLLC).

The transition to a 5G SA deployment requires significant investments and changes in the network infrastructure, but it ultimately enables the full realization of 5G services and applications.

5G SA deployment