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Is 5G Finally Ready For The Spotlight?

When 5G was rolling out we were inundated with headlines foretelling a bright future. Here are actual headlines touting 5G's impact ......"How 5G Will Change The World — And Why It’s Even More Important Now" and "How could 5G change the world for the better?".

The reality of today is that 5G has failed to live up to many of its promises. Recent coverage has a much different tone....."It’s Not Just You: 5G Is a Big Letdown" and "Will 5G ever live up to the hype?"

What has been lost in a sea of headlines is that the carriers rolling out 5G had a dirty little secret. They were taking a transitional approach that still heavily relied on 4G called 5G NSA (non-standalone).

2023 has finally seen the emergence of widespread 5G SA (standalone) deployments that promise to capitalize on 5G's promise:

  • T-Mobile has completed a national rollout

  • Verizon has started moving traffic to its new 5G SA core

  • AT&T rolled out their 5G core in 2022 and is supporting limited devices with more on the way,

  • Dish (yes Dish Network) launched their 5G SA network in June of 2022 and as of mid-June of 2023 they claim coverage of 70% of the U.S. population.

5G SA promises to upend everything you thought you knew about 5G. The core difference of 5G SA is that it is built from the ground up with a 5G core with zero dependencies on 4G networks. Here are some advantages of 5G SA over 5G NSA:

Improved Performance: 5G standalone is designed to offer better performance compared to its non-standalone counterpart. This includes higher data rates, lower latency, and improved network efficiency. The new architecture allows for optimized data flows, better handling of diverse traffic types, and improved overall user experience.

Low Latency: One of the most significant advantages of 5G SA is its extremely low latency, which can be crucial for applications like real-time gaming, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), remote surgery, and industrial automation. The reduced latency enables near-instantaneous communication between devices and the network.

Network Slicing: 5G SA introduces the concept of network slicing, which allows a single physical network to be partitioned into multiple virtual networks. Each slice can be customized to cater to specific applications ensuring optimal resource allocation and quality of service for different use cases.

Enhanced Security: 5G SA offers improved security features, such as enhanced encryption and authentication methods. The standalone architecture provides an opportunity to implement security measures more effectively, addressing concerns related to data privacy and network integrity. Also, more telecom manufacturers are adopting container software, yet another way of securing data.

5G SA also mitigates known security control gaps and addresses some common attack vectors.

Support for Massive IoT Deployments: 5G SA is designed to efficiently support massive Internet of Things (IoT) deployments. Its optimized design for low-power, low-data-rate devices allows for a higher density of connected devices, making it suitable for Industrial IoT.

Global Standardization: As 5G SA is based on a global standard, it promotes interoperability and compatibility among different vendors' equipment, reducing fragmentation and simplifying the deployment process.

Increased Pace of Innovation: 5G SA networks are more flexible and adaptive thanks to software-defined networking and virtualization. Telecommunications equipment manufacturers are moving away from “waterfall” development—where software is developed in phases—to Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment, allowing for faster development of new features and improvements.

2023 is shaping up to be the year that 5G delivers on its long-held promise of providing a high speed and low latency network delivered virtually anywhere while also being more secure and resilient. Want to know more about how 5G can deliver better business results? Ready to reexamine your last mile connectivity with 5G SA in the mix? We can help. Contact us here.


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