5G Non-Standalone to 5G Standalone – Nokia


5G Non-Standalone to 5G Standalone – Nokia

Many CSPs are deploying 5G NSA with the aim of evolving to 5G SA as the

technology matures. This calls for the transition from 5G NSA to 5G SA to be

straightforward for the CSP and transparent to the end user. This paper

describes ways to make that transition happen, focusing on the 5G core.


By the end of 2025, Ovum expects there to be 3 billion 5G subscriptions, which will be worth

USD 800 billion in annual subscription fees. 3GPP has defined several deployment options to

hasten the introduction of 5G while supporting a move to fuller 5G services.

The industry has aligned on options Non-Standalone (NSA)3X and Standalone (SA)2. Option

NSA3X allows Communications Service Providers (CSPs) to quickly deploy 5G enhanced mobile

broadband (eMBB) service on top of their existing 4G core and radio networks, using 5G radios

to provide high-speed, low-latency data capabilities for their customers. Option SA2 enables

CSPs to offer their customers the full capabilities of 5G technology through the addition of a

cloud-native 5G core.

5G core – ready for networks

Many CSPs have introduced the 5G NSA deployment option 3X, shortly called NSA3X in the


NSA3x is supported by many smartphones able to allow higher data speeds. As well as

smartphones, many different types of device can connect. All devices, from smartphones to

data sticks to Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, are referred to by the generic term User

Equipment (UE).

NSA3x enables 5G radio access by leveraging the existing 4G core, the Evolved Packet Core

(EPC). The 5G core can be introduced in parallel to the existing EPC as an evolutionary step

based on deployment options such as SA2, SA5 and NSA7. Currently the industry is mainly using

SA2 as the next step.

EPC and 5G core will both continue to exist to provide support existing 4G devices, while 5G core

will be the only core network option for 5G greenfield CSPs. Even then, roaming

5G Non-Standalone to 5G Standalone – Nokia






WeChat: GSA Express

5G Non-Standalone to 5G Standalone - Nokia

© GSA 2021