5G is the next generation of 3GPP technology, after 4G/LTE, defined for wireless mobile data communication. 5G will bridge wireless and wireline networks by introducing a major network architectural change from radio access to core.
The 5G standards are introduced in 3GPP Release 15 to cater to the needs of 5G networks. The 5G framework will take advantage of the massive throughput and low latency that new radio provides.
The two solutions defined by 3GPP for 5G networks are:
5G Non Standalone (NSA): The existing LTE radio access and core network (EPC) is used as an anchor for mobility management and coverage to add the 5G carrier. This solution enables operators to provide 5G services with shorter time and lesser cost.
The 5G NSA solution is supported in this release.
5G Standalone (SA): An all new 5G Packet Core will be introduced with several new capabilities built inherently into it. The SA architecture comprises of 5G New Radio (5G NR) and 5G Core Network (5GC).
Network Slicing, CUPS, Virtualization, Multi-Gbps support, Ultra low latency, and other such aspects will be natively built into the 5G SA Packet Core architecture.