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5G standalone is the platform for new business opportunities for differentiated connectivity.

Experience 5G without limits

5G standalone is the platform for new business opportunities for differentiated connectivity.

5G standalone (5G SA)

In 5G standalone, thanks to its service-based architecture, service providers and enterprises can easily activate new capabilities and expose them through APIs. It enables the creation of innovative applications, services and solutions with differentiated connectivity, allowing service providers to define different performance levels and degree of traffic isolation. Take your first steps to 5G standalone today.

5G standalone explained

5G standalone takes 5G performance to new heights, bringing new capabilities that deliver a more powerful user experience, enhanced network efficiency, and a world of new business opportunities.

Unlike 5G non-standalone networks, 5G standalone is based exclusively on cloud-native 5G Core and 5G new radio architecture. This flexible and programmable cloud-native service-based architecture means that service providers can upgrade, create and deploy new services in hours rather than days or weeks, without impacting live services.

And the benefits don’t stop there. 5G standalone-exclusive features such as network exposure, edge computing, and network slicing are raising the stakes for 5G service delivery – making networks more programmable, breaking out traffic at the network edge, and providing differentiated connectivity with guaranteed quality of service.

Experience the full power of 5G, without limits.

5G Standalone explained
  • Target 5G architecture based on the 3GPP New Radio standard
  • Simplified RAN and device architecture
  • New cloud-native 5G Core, built on a service-based architecture
  • Enables ultra-low latency
  • The only option to provide same 5G coverage for low band as legacy system through multi-band carrier aggregation
  • Supports advanced network-slicing functions
  • Facilitates a wider range of use cases for new devices

The migration to 5G Standalone architecture offers a world of benefits for service providers, including:

  • Next-level network performance, enhancing existing services such as enhanced mobile broadband, and laying a foundation for future use case evolution
  • More opportunities to grow market share and addressing new customer segments and use cases for top-line growth
  • New pathways to become a service creator, moving beyond being a connectivity provider
  • Faster development of innovative services with 5G technology
  • Quicker validation of new business opportunities in real-life scenarios

5G standalone: new revenue streams unlocked

5G standalone rollouts are rapidly increasing among leading service providers worldwide, unlocking transformative new revenue possibilities across enterprises, consumers, governments, and public services.

Key revenue enablers

Differentiated service offerings

Through enhanced end-to-end network slicing, 5G standalone introduces new ways to monetize powered by differentiated and guaranteed quality of service (QoS) offerings. New pricing models are already available on the market today including unlimited data, plans tiered by specific speeds, bundled content-rich apps, and the possibility of on-demand performance enhancement.

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Mission-critical services

Time-Critical Communication (TCC) offers reliable, ultra-low latency connectivity that meets the high demands of mission-critical services across diverse segments. For consumers, this includes support for real-time media use cases such as XR and media production; while advanced industrial- and remote control will raise the innovation stakes across millions of factories and warehouses in coming years.

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Enhanced Fixed Wireless Access

5G standalone’s advanced performance, underpinned by enhanced network slicing and carrier aggregation, brings home the value of new enhanced FWA market opportunities – delivering improved speed, capacity, and coverage to meet the connectivity needs of households and enterprises worldwide.

Learn how

Live broadcasting

5G and network slicing has the possibility to radically change how broadcasters of all sizes transmit live content from remote locations. New concepts such as ‘slice-on-a-SIM’ and ‘broadcast-in-a-box’ are already available to today’s broadcasters.

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Value of differentiated 5G connectivity

Explore how 5G SA-enabled connectivity in a typical city can bring revenue for service providers and savings for end-users.

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Featured business cases

5G standalone: key benefits and capabilities

Powerful user experience

Consistency low latency
5G standalone enables ultra-low latency in the milliseconds, supported by lower handover interruption time and other enablers, to deliver close to real-time communication with zero lag.

Better spectral efficiency
Advanced Multi-Layer Coordination, and increased LTE offload to 5G spectrum enables higher uplink and downlink data rates. Ericsson’s 5G standalone software toolkit enhances support for experience-based connectivity with high requirements on throughput, reliability, and latency.

Wider coverage
5G standalone multi-band carrier aggregation, including uplink carrier aggregation, can leverage multiple 5G spectrum frequencies to significantly improve uplink and downlink capacity across wider areas.

5G voice
5G standalone unlocks new 5G voice (VoNR) capabilities to enable near-instant call connections, lower latency voice communication, and higher quality audio through wider bandwidth.

Enhanced network efficiency

Higher energy efficiency
5G SA allow users to spend more time in 5G than 5G NSA which reduce the energy used per gigabyte transmitted.

Advanced device support
Through RedCap device support and reduced signaling of the Inactive State feature, 5G standalone enables reduced device latency, complexity, and battery consumption, laying the groundwork for use case evolution.

Service agility and scale
5G Core’s cloud-native service-based architecture and cross-domain service orchestration means microservices can be scaled, reused and upgraded with minimal impact on running services.

Enhanced end-to-end security
Advanced encryption and identity protection is delivered through the 5G Core-integrated Ericsson Authentication Security Module, providing end-to-end security of 5G standalone networks.

5G standalone vs 5G non-standalone

5G Standalone vs 5G Non-Standalone

Early 5G networks have been based on 5G non-standalone architecture, using a 5G Radio Access Network that anchors to existing Evolved Packet Core networks. 5G standalone, on the other hand, anchors to a cloud-native 5G Core network using service-based architecture. This lays the foundation for faster, automated, and more agile service orchestration, as well as enabling a host of powerful 5G performance- and service enablers.

Learn more in our article: non-standalone and standalone – two standards-based paths to 5G

5G non-standalone

  • 5G RAN that anchors to existing Evolved Packet Core networks
  • Based on LTE/EPC architecture
  • Maximizes the use of the installed LTE base

Supports early 5G use cases including enhanced mobile broadband (video streaming, early immersive reality) and Critical IoT.

5G standalone

  • 5G RAN that anchors to cloud-native 5G Core networks
  • Based on new service-based architecture, with new network functions in Core
  • Simplified RAN and user equipment architecture

Supports advanced 5G services including network slicing, edge computing, 5G voice, RedCap devices, Time Critical Communication (TCC), network exposure, and enhanced Fixed Wireless Access (FWA).

How to upgrade to 5G standalone

Three routes to 5G standalone: how to get there

LTE > 5G non-standalone > 5G standalone

Route 1: LTE > 5G non-standalone > 5G standalone

Service providers deploying 5G non-standalone architecture as an intermediate step to full 5G standalone architecture. This has made it possible for service providers to switch on 5G services as quickly as possible, while using LTE as a fallback.

Learn more about Swisscom’s journey from LTE to 5G non-standalone

LTE > 5G Standalone

Route 2: LTE > 5G standalone

Service providers that take the more direct migration route from LTE radio access and EPC networks to full 5G standalone architecture from day one. One notable example is Indian service provider Jio that adopted a forward-looking 5G strategy from the get-go, providing differentiated services shaped by the inherent capabilities of 5G standalone.

Learn more about Jio’s journey from LTE to 5G standalone

5G Standalone

Route 3: 5G standalone

Service providers and enterprises deploying a cellular network for the very first time, for example public greenfield deployments, or private deployments of dedicated- or campus 5G networks.

Learn more about Helmut Schmidt University’s journey to a private 5G standalone campus network

5G Core is the starting point for a migration to 5G standalone

There are three deployment phases that contribute to the full 5G standalone experience. It’s important to plan when and how to embark on each phase of your transformation journey according to your business and network needs, and technology maturity.

Learn more in our guide series for deploying cloud-native 5G Core.

Phase 1: A focus on small-scale, exploratory deployments

Focus on deploying 5G Standalone services on a small scale, covering selected cities or even blocks. Consider deploying 5G Core network functions (NFs) just for the packet core domain and delaying others, such as subscriber data management, policy, and signaling. With low complexity at this stage, there is little need to broaden automation and orchestration offerings.

Phase 2: Expanding capabilities

Begin expanding coverage and capacity of your 5G Standalone network, as well as adding new NFs, such as subscription data management, to a live cloud-native packet core network. Here, your need for automation and orchestration capabilities will increase, requiring new tools for more efficient network management. Modernization of some network domains, such as moving into a bare-metal cloud infrastructure or deploying VoNR services, may also be covered in this phase.

Phase 3: Enriching innovation and services

By this stage, you can begin to enrich your network with new capabilities that will enable more innovation and monetization, for example across enterprise and industry segments, as well as expanding the complete ecosystem with application developers. This requires a focus on innovative network slicing solutions, edge computing and network APIs’ exposure.

Begin your journey to 5G standalone with Ericsson

As a 5G market leader, supporting network deployments around the globe, we’re here to help you plan for a smooth migration to 5G standalone networks – tailored to your business and technology goals.

What you need to deliver the full 5G standalone experience

Ericsson 5G Core

Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core combines Evolved Packet Core (EPC) and new 5G Core (5GC) network functions into a common, multi-access and cloud-native platform. It’s the foundation that unleashes the full power of 5G standalone, enabling faster connectivity speeds, ultra-low latency, higher bit rates and improved network reliability.

Ericsson 5G RAN

Ericsson's 5G RAN supports both 5G standalone and 5G non-standalone deployments, with the ability to be remotely installed on existing Ericsson Radio System radios. With the option to choose between a purpose-built and a Cloud RAN portfolio for 5G, service providers can enjoy more flexibility when rolling out networks worldwide. 

Cloud native

Cloud-native architecture allows upgrades and new functionalities to be deployed more cost-efficiently, without impacting live services. The possibility to add new network functionalities, quickly scale capacity and run in-service software upgrades makes it possible to create and deploy new services for automated and customized connectivity in hours, rather than days or weeks.

Network automation & AI

Leveraging new, powerful AI capabilities, Ericsson’s network management automation solutions are uniquely developed to meet rapidly increasing depth, density, heterogeneity, openness, and exposure of 5G standalone networks, while preparing you for a future that is autonomous, zero-touch and intent based.


Expanding top line revenue growth from a wider range of differentiated 5G services adds new dimensions of complexity. Ericsson’s Operations- and Business Support Systems (OSS/BSS) are evolving to meet that complexity and enable your transformation towards new business models and new ways of engaging with consumers, enterprises and partners.

Network slicing

Network slicing plays a crucial role in enabling new services and business models across a wider set of market segments based on differentiated connectivity. By slicing the network into a set of logical networks on top of a shared infrastructure, you can raise your return on investment via efficient usage and management of the network resources and provide differentiated services at scale.

Reimagine what 5G can do

Discover the breathtaking possibilities of 5G Advanced.


Explore 5G Advanced

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