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Who is standalone 5G NR really for?

February 12, 2018


Operators in the U.S. including Verizon and AT&T are promising commercial services based on the non-standalone 5G New Radio (NR) specification, adopted in December 2017 by 3GPP, later this year. These services will use the LTE radio access and core network, with the addition of a 5G carrier, to deliver enhanced mobile broadband. The idea is that operators can leverage massive investments in LTE networks to rapidly commercialize 5G. The standalone variant of the 5G specification is exactly what it sounds like–a new network that will operate in tandem with an LTE network. As such, a standalone 5G network will require new base stations, new backhaul mechanisms and a new core network.

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