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Understanding What is 5G Standalone Technology

by Marcin Wieclaw
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what is 5g standalone

5G standalone (5G SA) is a cellular infrastructure built specifically for 5G services by implementing 5G standards and protocols in the radio network and controller core. It is also known as standalone 5G or SA 5G. Unlike the hybrid mode called 5G non-standalone (5G NSA), which is currently being widely deployed, 5G SA is a true 5G network that utilizes 5G radios on the edge and a 5G core.

While 5G NSA offers some benefits of 5G, such as higher connection speeds, it does not provide the full 5G feature set. 5G standalone is crucial for enterprises as it enables ultra-high-density deployments, supports network slicing, and offers lower latency use cases that 5G NSA cannot. It provides all the intended benefits of 5G without the limitations of 4G LTE.

5G SA is paving the way for a new era of connectivity and technological advancements. As industries continue to evolve and embrace digital transformation, the need for reliable, high-speed, and low-latency networks becomes increasingly important. With its advanced cellular infrastructure and adherence to 5G standards and protocols, 5G standalone technology offers enterprises a significant leap forward in connectivity capabilities.

Stay tuned as we delve deeper into why 5G standalone is important for enterprises, how it works, the benefits it brings, and whether it is the right choice for your business.

Why is 5G Standalone Important?

5G standalone (5G SA) technology offers more than just faster downloads and higher-speed links. It presents enterprises with a reliable and flexible alternative to Wi-Fi for site connectivity, enabling them to expand and optimize their network capabilities. Unlike 5G non-standalone (5G NSA), which falls short in certain areas, 5G SA provides unique advantages that cater specifically to enterprise needs.

“5G standalone technology offers a reliable and flexible alternative to Wi-Fi, making it ideal for enterprises.”

Reliable and Flexible Alternative for Enterprises

Enterprises require a network infrastructure that is both reliable and flexible. 5G standalone technology fulfills this need by offering a seamless and efficient connectivity solution. With a dedicated 5G core and advanced network capabilities, 5G SA provides enterprises with enhanced reliability, ensuring consistent and stable connections for their operations.

Moreover, 5G SA offers a higher degree of flexibility compared to traditional Wi-Fi networks. Enterprises can leverage 5G SA for site connectivity across various locations, allowing for cost-effective and scalable network deployments. This flexibility empowers enterprises to adapt and expand their network infrastructure based on their evolving business requirements.

Ultra-High-Density Deployments and Low-Latency Use Cases

5G SA is designed to support ultra-high-density deployments, making it well-suited for Internet of Things (IoT) use cases that involve a multitude of sensors and controllers in smart buildings. The technology enables seamless connectivity for these devices, facilitating efficient communication and data transfer.

Furthermore, 5G SA enables low-latency use cases that require real-time control. For instance, robotic equipment in warehouses or factories can benefit from the ultra-low latency provided by 5G SA. This ensures immediate response and precise control over operations, leading to increased efficiency and productivity.

Network Slicing for Enhanced Performance

A key feature of 5G SA is network slicing, which allows for the creation of dedicated network partitions with specified performance guarantees. This enables enterprises to customize and optimize network resources based on specific requirements. Different devices and customers can have their own dedicated slices, ensuring enhanced performance and quality of service.

Network slicing provides enterprises with the flexibility to prioritize critical applications and allocate resources accordingly. This tailored approach enhances overall network performance and efficiency, enabling enterprises to achieve their unique business objectives.

5G standalone technology offers a reliable and flexible alternative to Wi-Fi, making it an essential tool for enterprises. Its support for ultra-high-density deployments, low-latency use cases, and network slicing capabilities sets it apart from 5G non-standalone. Embracing 5G SA empowers enterprises to enhance their connectivity, unlock new possibilities, and drive innovation in their respective industries.

How Does 5G Standalone Work?

In order to understand how 5G standalone (5G SA) technology functions, it’s important to examine the components that make up this advanced cellular infrastructure. 5G SA utilizes a 5G-compliant radio access network (RAN) and a 5G-compliant core network to provide seamless connectivity and high-speed data transfer.

Firstly, 5G devices, such as phones, hotspots, cars, or fixed-wireless modems, utilize 5G radios to establish connections with 5G access points (APs) via new generations of antennas. These access points act as gateways between the devices and the network.

These 5G access points then communicate with 5G controllers located at the edge and the core of the network. These controllers manage device connections and overall connectivity across the provider’s network, ensuring efficient data transfer and network performance.

The underlying 5G standards and protocols rely on modern computing principles like virtualization, microservices architecture, and container orchestration platforms. These technologies enable the seamless movement of functionality from the edge to the core of the network, allowing for efficient resource allocation and scalability.

5G Standalone Image

The virtualization enables the network to abstract and separate physical hardware resources, making it easier to deploy and manage network functions. It allows for greater flexibility and agility in optimizing network resources based on demand, ensuring smooth and uninterrupted connectivity for users.

Furthermore, the use of microservices architecture allows for the breakdown of complex network functions into smaller, more manageable modules. This modular approach enhances scalability, fault tolerance, and maintainability of the network, making it easier to roll out updates and new features.

Container orchestration platforms play a crucial role in managing the deployment and scaling of containerized network functions. These platforms automate the process of scheduling containers, optimizing resource utilization, and ensuring the efficient operation of the network.

In summary, 5G standalone technology utilizes a 5G-compliant RAN and core network, allowing devices to connect to 5G access points which are managed by 5G controllers. The use of virtualization, microservices architecture, and container orchestration platforms enables the seamless functioning and scalability of the network, ensuring efficient data transfer and reliable connectivity.

What Are the Benefits of 5G Standalone?

When 5G SA is fully implemented, enterprises can expect a range of benefits that go beyond what 5G NSA offers.

  • Faster download speeds: 5G SA provides faster download speeds, allowing enterprises to access and transfer data more quickly, enabling efficient workflows and improved productivity.
  • Greater capacity: With 5G SA, enterprises can handle larger amounts of data and support a higher number of connected devices simultaneously, facilitating seamless communication and collaboration across teams and departments.
  • Higher-density deployments: 5G SA enables enterprises to deploy a larger number of devices in concentrated areas, such as stadiums or urban centers, without sacrificing connectivity or performance. This is particularly beneficial for industries that rely on IoT devices and sensors for smart technologies.
  • Low-latency use cases: 5G SA offers low-latency connections, allowing enterprises to support real-time applications and services that require instant response times, such as augmented reality, virtual reality, and autonomous vehicles.
  • Enhanced site connectivity: Through network slicing, 5G SA provides enhanced site connectivity by allocating dedicated network partitions to devices and customers, ensuring reliable and consistent performance for specific use cases or applications.
  • Network slicing: 5G SA supports network slicing, a feature that allows enterprises to create virtualized networks within the overall 5G infrastructure. This enables customization and optimization of network resources based on specific requirements, ensuring efficient and tailored connectivity.
  • Better security: 5G SA offers improved security compared to 5G NSA. By utilizing the full 5G feature set and dedicated 5G core, enterprises can enhance their data protection measures and mitigate potential cybersecurity risks.

By harnessing the capabilities of 5G SA, enterprises can unlock a new level of connectivity and performance, enabling seamless operations, innovative use cases, and enhanced security.

Should Enterprises Use 5G Standalone?

Yes, enterprises should consider using 5G Standalone (5G SA) to unlock the full potential of 5G technology. While 5G non-standalone (5G NSA) can serve as a bridge technology for transitioning to 5G, it does not offer the comprehensive range of enterprise use cases for cellular data services. With 5G SA, enterprises can take advantage of dedicated 5G SA cores, which are specifically designed for 5G and provide enhanced reliability and flexibility compared to 5G NSA.

However, it’s crucial to note that 5G SA cores are built with new code stacks and implement new protocols. This introduces potential risks in terms of function and security. Enterprises must be aware of these risks and prioritize proper testing and implementation of 5G SA technology. By ensuring robust bug fixes and avoiding patchwork solutions, enterprises can mitigate these risks and ensure the smooth operation of their 5G SA networks.

Considering the advantages of 5G SA, such as improved reliability, flexibility, and the ability to support a wide range of enterprise use cases, enterprises should carefully evaluate their specific needs and requirements before adopting 5G SA. With proper planning and implementation, enterprises can harness the power of 5G SA to drive innovation, enhance connectivity, and achieve their digital transformation goals while maintaining the highest level of security.

FAQ

What is 5G standalone technology?

5G standalone (5G SA) is a cellular infrastructure built specifically for 5G services by implementing 5G standards and protocols in the radio network and controller core. It is also known as standalone 5G or SA 5G.

What is the difference between 5G standalone and 5G non-standalone?

Unlike 5G non-standalone (5G NSA), which is currently being widely deployed, 5G SA is a true 5G network that utilizes 5G radios on the edge and a 5G core. While 5G NSA offers some benefits of 5G, such as higher connection speeds, it does not provide the full 5G feature set.

Why is 5G standalone important?

5G standalone is important for enterprises as it enables ultra-high-density deployments, supports network slicing, and offers lower latency use cases that 5G NSA cannot. It provides all the intended benefits of 5G without the limitations of 4G LTE.

How does 5G standalone work?

5G SA employs both a 5G-compliant radio access network (RAN) and a 5G-compliant core network. 5G devices, such as phones, hotspots, cars, or fixed-wireless modems, use 5G radios to establish connections with 5G access points (APs) via new generations of antennas. The APs communicate with 5G controllers in the edge and the core, which manage device connections and connectivity across the provider’s networks.

What are the benefits of 5G standalone?

When fully implemented, enterprises can expect further improvements in download speeds and capacity beyond what 5G NSA offers. 5G SA enables higher-density deployments of devices and supports low-latency use cases that require real-time control. It also provides enhanced site connectivity through network slicing and offers better security compared to 5G NSA.

Should enterprises use 5G standalone?

Yes, enterprises should use 5G SA because it allows them to fully leverage the benefits of 5G technology. While 5G NSA can serve as a bridge technology for transitioning to 5G, it does not offer the full array of potential enterprise use cases for cellular data services. However, enterprises should be aware of the potential risks, such as function and security issues, and ensure proper testing and implementation of 5G SA technology.

Author

  • Marcin Wieclaw

    Marcin Wieclaw, the founder and administrator of PC Site since 2019, is a dedicated technology writer and enthusiast. With a passion for the latest developments in the tech world, Marcin has crafted PC Site into a trusted resource for technology insights. His expertise and commitment to demystifying complex technology topics have made the website a favored destination for both tech aficionados and professionals seeking to stay informed.

    View all posts

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