5G Basics: Non-Standalone vs Standalone (NSA vs SA)

Oct 28, 2020

5G is the fifth generation of mobile communication technology with a potential downlink speed of 1000Mbps. The deployment of 5G is consequential, but there are a couple of complex 5G network modes to consider: Non-Standalone Access (NSA) and Standalone Access (SA).

NSA allows service providers to leverage their existing 4G network facilities, anchoring the control signaling of 5G to the 4G base station. It's easier and faster for network operators to launch 5G this way because the infrastructure is already there. This would allow them to gain technology and market leadership.

On the other hand, SA involves the deployment of a complete end-to-end 5G network. The initial investment would be much greater, but the benefit is a super-fast and ultra-low latency network with lower future operational costs.

Which 5G network mode is your provider deploying?

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