5G Non-Standalone (NSA) vs Standalone (SA)
Initial 5G NR launches depend on existing LTE (4G) infrastructure in non-standalone (NSA) mode (5G NR software on LTE radio hardware), before maturation of the standalone (SA) mode (5G NR software on 5G NR radio hardware) with the 5G core network.
A 5G Base Station uses New Radio (NR) technology and is referred to as a gNodeB (gNb). gNodeB radios features Software Defined Radio (SDR) with various MIMO options including 2×2, 4×4, 8×8 and Massive MIMO options for higher capacities. Options for 5G deployment in Sub-6GHz bands as well as Millimeter Wave (mmWave) bands are available.
Seamless Upgrade Path to future-proof networks
The use of advanced SDR enables a seamless migration from today’s 4G LTE network to an initial 5G NSA implementation (4G eNodeB plus 5G-NSA gNodeB combined on each site) to a pure 5G Stand-Alone (SA) network using 5G NR radios only. This roadmap capability is unique in the cellular industry, and preserves operator investment in hardware, equipment and installation time.
5G Spectrum: Frequency Bands
Frequency bands for 5G NR are being separated into two different frequency ranges.
- Frequency Range 1 (FR1) includes sub-6GHz frequency bands, some of which are bands traditionally used by previous standards, but has been extended to cover potential new spectrum offerings from 410 MHz to 7125 MHz.
- Frequency Range 2 (FR2) includes frequency bands from 24.25 GHz to 52.6 GHz. Bands in this millimeter wave range have shorter range but higher available bandwidth than bands in the FR1
Evolution of Cellular Technology
The new radio access technology for 5G is called “NR” and replaces “LTE”, and the new base station is called gNB (or gNodeB), and replaces the eNB (or eNodeB or Evolved Node B).
|Generation||Radio Technology||Base Station Name|
|2G||GSM||BTS (Base Transceiver Station)|
|4G||LTE||eNB, Evolved NodeB|
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