5G Network Mode: NSA vs SA, what’s the difference?


Mobile communication network consists of an access network (base station), a bearer network, and a core network. Then, NSA and SA are the matching networking modes of the base station and core network. They are also the most general networking modes of 5G worldwide. Let’s get to learn more about them!

Part I. What is NSA and SA in 5G

NSA is Non-Standalone 5G network, which refers to deploying the networking of 5G on the fundamental facilities of 4G. NSA adopts the core network of 4G and adds the use of a 5G base station. It’s easy to achieve because the core network doesn’t change.

The advantage of NAS is that it can achieve 5G fast and the cost is low.

However, 5G can’t connect to the core network of 4G. It should connect to the 4G base station within this base station. Then it connects to the 4G core network, which has less utilization and the ability to have high reliability, low latency, and multiple connections.

SA refers to the Standalone 5G network, which is the terminal target of 5G network evolution. It performs as a transitional section. In the structure of SA, the terminals don’t need to access the 4G base station with all signals and data completed by the 5G station. Therefore, many ISPS choose NA in the early days of 5G deployment. Besides, 5G introduces lots of new technology such as SBA, which is generally deployed in the data center with virtualization technology. Therefore, the construction cost is higher.

Part II. 5G NSA vs SA, what’s the difference?

The difference between SA and NSA 5G is mainly in three parts.

1. Different performance

NSA belongs to non-standalone networking.

SA belongs to standalone networking

2. Different network layer

NSA: In NSA networking, 5G and 4G communicate on the access network layer, which is complex.

SA: In 5G SA networking, 5G is isolated to 4G. They are communicating on the core network layer and the connection is simple.

3. Different access technology

NSA: under the NSA networking, the terminal is connected to two wireless access technologies including LTE and NR.

SA: under the SA networking, the terminal is only connected to one wireless access technology

Part III. Related WiFi router to create 5G network

V-SOL provides two 5G indoor CPE, which enable users to connect to the wireless network. They are specially designed for different users according to different situations and demands. XHC5151 is a cost-effective 5G indoor CPE and XTC6251 is an advanced one. The former can reach a speed of up to 2.5Gbps, which is suitable for China & Asia 5G band. As for the latter, the peak download speed is 3.4 Gbps. It’s fit for the global 5G band. Moreover, they both support WiFi 6. With SIM card insertion, you can enjoy 5G without any constraints. Whether in the home office, live video, VR, or gaming, the 5G indoor CPE can always bring you an unprecedented experience.

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