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Главная > How To > NSA or SA? Who is the real 5G network mode for smartphones and what’s the difference?
NSA or SA? Who is the real 5G network mode for smartphones and what’s the difference?

NSA or SA? Who is the real 5G network mode for smartphones and what’s the difference?

По  Town Kassis 2019-10-07 11836 0

2019 as the first year of 5G, various technologies and end products continue to mature, and users' expectations for 5G have also reached a new peak. At present, most 5G phones only support NSA networking, so there is a saying on the Internet that "users should polish their eyes when buying 5G phones as there may be fake 5G phones”.

5G phone 

In fact, from a technical point of view, "5G points of truth and falsehood" is actually overinterpreted. In fact, 5G is not true or false, but there are differences in networking methods and upgrade costs. I believe that many consumers also put a question mark in their hearts when they buy. If you have the same doubts and want to know if you can buy a 5G phone that supports only NSA today, keep looking!

What is 5G?

5G is called the fifth generation mobile communication technology (5th generation mobile networks) is the latest generation cellular mobile communication technology. It has the advantages of high data rate, low latency, energy saving, low cost and large system capacity to support large-scale device connectivity.

5G phone 

Compared with 4G network, 5G can achieve the downlink speed of 1000Mbps under ideal condition. This reverse transmission rate for the Internet of things, telemedicine, driverless and other new technologies to provide technical support.


The benefits of 5G networks for smartphones are also obvious, in addition to bringing faster network connections, while giving our phones a wider range of applications, such as telecommuting and driverless technologies.


But to experience the speed of a 5G network, mobile phones and base station devices need to be updated, and the cost is not low.

NSA vs SA: what’s the difference?

The main difference between NSA (Non-Standalone) and SA (Standalone) is that NSA anchors the control signaling of 5G to the 4G base station, and the SA scheme is that the 5G base station is directly connected to the 5G core network, and the control signaling does not depend on the 4G network at all.

To put it simply, NSA is like adding a solid state hard drive to an old computer, which can improve the original performance, while the SA is directly replaced with a new computer, all aspects of which are new technologies, and the comprehensive performance is naturally better.

5G phone 

However, through examples, I believe you can also see that the biggest difference between NSA and SA networking is the cost.

NSA is a 5G network that integrates the deployment of 4G base stations and network architectures.

The advantage is that the construction speed is very fast, directly using 4G base station to install 5G base station, can achieve 5G network coverage, while SA needs to rebuild 5G base station and back-end 5G network, so as to fully realize all the characteristics and functions of 5G network. But because all base stations and infrastructure need to be rebuilt, the cost of construction is quite high.


In order to let users experience the advantages of 5G network as soon as possible, so most of the base stations deployed by operators belong to NSA base stations. Accelerate the coverage of 5G networks through relatively low-cost rapid upgrades.

Some people may ask, since NSA is relatively low in cost, is it not as good as SA in terms of experience? In fact, from the user level, we do not need to worry about this problem at all. At present, there will not be much difference between the two in terms of speed and delay. And NSA will be the mainstream solution for 5G for a long time to come.

Will 5G phones with NSA network mode not work next year or later?

Throughout the entire industry of 5G, different countries, NSA is a stage where operators can not fully jump. Because NSA is the use of the existing 4G network technology facilities plus 5G site, with a relatively low cost of resources to achieve 5G deployment. From the experience of consumer testing, it is enough to support the expectation of 5G.

5G phone​ 

As for the evolution of NSA to SA, it still needs a long process, because the 5G SA needs to upgrade the equipment network of the 5G core network, and the investment and capital are relatively high.

Moreover, it takes a long time to migrate from 4G network to 5G core network. Judging from the current news, SA-related testing and network verification will not be completed until the middle of next year, but the progress of each operator may be slightly different, so it will take some time for SA to be fully rolled out.


Earlier, the people's Post said in an article: this view is a misreading of technology and national industrial policy, NSA and SA are real 5G, the NSA 5G mobile phone can continue to be used next year.

In fact, both NSA mode and SA mode are the 5G technical standards stipulated by 3GPP. As the late operators need 5G to enable various industries, so operators are more optimistic about the SA networking model, promoting SA as the ultimate goal of the development of 5G. Therefore, there is no case of true or false 5G.

Should I buy a NSA single mode 5G phone?

The overall development of 5G to SA needs to wait until most users use 5G and the market is more mature. Operators also need time to get their money back, and then build infrastructure such as routers, switches, servers, network slices, intelligent operations and maintenance, edge computing centers, open source and white boxes.

It will take at least five or six years to roll it out in full. Although SA is a more mature networking method in the future, the NSA scheme will continue to be used all the time. All NSA single-mode 5G phones launched this year will be in normal use next year or even for the next decade.


From the overall environment, NSA networking in the future for a long time, will be the mainstream way of 5G. Today's 5G mobile phone, fully able to meet everyone's needs. Even if one day SA becomes mainstream, it is believed that the phone in your hand is at the end of the replacement cycle.

If you want to experience the extreme thrill of a 5G network for the first time, the 5G phones currently on the market are optional and don't have to worry about buying "fake 5G" phones.

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