Ten 5G SA Highlights Progressively Help Operators Unlock Greater Value in 5G

Updated:2023/2/27 09:40

The worldwide buildout of 5G is gathering pace. GSMA reports that about 240 5G networks have been commercially deployed around the world, among which 5G SA networks account for just 15% (36). During the early stage of 5G network construction, many operators choose 5G NSA because they want to quickly roll out 5G networks. With the large-scale deployment of 5G, the industry is shifting focus from network construction to user and service development. 5G networks must be well built and leveraged. As the target 5G architecture, 5G SA can offer better user experience and bring more commercial value to operators. The industry is focusing on the 5G SA thanks to its 10 highlights.

Less Investment Required for 4G

In 5G NSA networking, frequent service fallback to 4G networks causes congestion on 4G networks. The 5G SA network architecture was introduced to reduce service fallback triggered by 5G network access failures (caused by small-packet service fallback and short-time data transmission) and by 5G connection release for VoLTE services. This effectively relieves 4G network pressure caused by service fallback, reduces congested cells, and lowers operators investments in capacity expansion for congested cells.

Power Conserved for LTE

The 5G SA network architecture increases the traffic offloaded to 5G networks. Statistical data on live networks shows that the base station power consumption can be reduced by 4% each time the 5G offloading ratio increases by 10%. As such, the 5G SA network architecture helps operators effectively reduce the power consumption of base stations.

Virtual Private Networks for Industries

Operators can provide virtual private networks for industries based on enhanced 5G SA capabilities, such as UL CL, 5G LAN, dual fed and selective receiving, and slicing. These networks — featuring large uplink bandwidth, stable latency, and massive connections — can play key roles in the core production, helping enterprises improve efficiency and achieve digital transformation.

Device Costs Lowered with RedCap

RedCap is a new technical protocol launched by 3GPP Release 17 for 5G applications that are insensitive to the service rate and latency. It reduces the complexity of conventional 5G terminals while keeping the original service performance, achieving a good balance between network performance and terminal costs. It can be widely applied to scenarios such as wearable devices, industrial sensors, and video content analysis.

Experience Monetization Accelerated with Differentiated Service Assurance

Priority-based service experience management for single users is evolved to differentiated service management. This allows operators to launch packages for different levels of service flow assurance, increase the ARPU, stimulate network traffic, and accelerate experience monetization. Through the 5G NF — NWDAF, closed-loop user experience assurance is achieved. That is, for users who have subscribed to specific services, the NWDAF can perform real-time experience awareness, intelligent analysis, and dynamic on-demand assurance. As such, differentiated service experience can be delivered to high-value users.

Superlative VoNR Calling Experience

VoNR adopts the Enhanced Voice Services (EVS) codec, and can therefore provide better voice quality. It increases the Mean Opinion Score (MOS) by 12% and shortens the call setup delay, greatly improving the security and quality of calls. VoNR is expected to bring users a fully immersive and interactive calling experience.

20% Power Saved for Mobile Phones

In NSA networking, mobile phones need to stay connected to both 5G NR and 4G LTE networks. While in SA networking, they connect to only the 5G NR network, cutting power consumption by about 20%.

Access Latency Shortened by 360 ms

In NSA networking, 4G and 5G base stations coexist. When a UE accesses an NR cell, it needs to pass through the LTE cell, neighboring NR cell, and NR cell, leading to an access latency of about 400 ms. In contrast, the access latency in SA networks is only about 40 ms due to fewer air interface control negotiations and the RRC inactive mode.

Uplink Bandwidth Doubled

For a device that supports dual-channel transmission, it can use two transmission channels for uplink NR data transmission in an SA network. By contrast, there is only one channel exclusively used for NR transmission in an NSA network, because the other channel is used for LTE.

5G Signal Icon Always Displayed

In SA mode, mobile phones are always connected to the 5G NR network and the 5G signal icon is always displayed on the mobile phones. This brings much better user experience compared with frequent shifts between 4G and 5G icons along with the NSA-SA network switching.

The 5G SA industry is becoming increasingly mature. According to Deloitte, the number of mobile network operators investing in 5G SA networks is estimated to double by the end of 2023. MWC 2023 will run from February 27 to March 2 in Barcelona, Spain. At the conference, Huawei will showcase innovative services and experience solutions, and release innovative 5.5G core network products and solutions. Huawei will continue to innovate, to help operators develop 5G users and services, achieve business success, and additionally, bring optimal service experience to users.

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