Understand the difference between 5G SA, 5G NSA and 5G DSS | Telephony

Despite bringing the “5G” indicator on the cell phone, 5G DSS is an intermediate technology and does not bring the full potential of the new connection. In some tests of TechTudo, DSS achieved speed 2.4 times faster than 4G. Known as “pure 5G”, the SA standard has its own infrastructure and does not depend on antennas used by the previous network. There is still the 5G NSA, which uses part of the 4G infrastructure — that’s why it’s classified as “impure”.

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iPhone 13 Pro Max still needs an update to receive “pure 5G” — Photo: Thássius Veloso/TechTudo

The 5G SA mobile network, also called “pure 5G”, represents the most modern technology, which needs its own infrastructure and does not depend on the antennas used in the old system. As a result, it has an exclusive radio frequency.

To use the fifth generation of mobile internet, the user needs to have a cell phone or tablet compatible with the technology. In addition, some devices will still need a system update for the devices to connect to the so-called “pure” 5G, as in the case of the iPhone. Currently, Apple cell phones — from iPhone 12 onwards — are compatible with the technology.

It is also worth mentioning that, probably, depending on the operator, the user will need to change the chip to guarantee the use of the signal at very high connection speeds. According to the Minister of Communications, Fábio Faria, the expectation is that the new network will be available in all capitals by the end of September.

2. 5G NSA (the “impure 5G”)

Galaxy S20 FE has a connection available in the NSA standard — Photo: Fábio Oberlaender/ TechTudo

The NSA standard uses the same network core as the current 4G system. With the adoption of this type of infrastructure, it is classified as “impure”. It is currently in use by over 200 telephone operators around the world.

Anatel has already approved almost 70 smartphones with this technology. These devices belong to the most varied brands available on the market, such as Samsung, Apple, Motorola, Realme and Xiaomi, among others. Finding a smartphone with technology support should be increasingly common in the Brazilian market. They are generally available for the 5G NSA standard.

The most relevant benefit in relation to 5G NSA is the fact that users do not need to change chip to take advantage of the new technology. With the implementation of 5G in Brazil, it will be possible to browse with much more comfort when watching your favorite series or playing online.

Motorola Edge has 5G DSS technology — Photo: Disclosure

5G DSS is a model that uses the entire network infrastructure of the previous generation mobile internet standard. This means that 5G customers will connect to the same network that currently also supports 4G. Compatible antennas will release higher speed when detecting devices with DSS connection availability.

The promise for this intermediate technology was 12 times faster than 4G, but the number does not match what the TechTudo with other industry sources. The operator Claro did not reveal the average download considered in the calculation. The trend is for 5G DSS technology to have a limited reach to serve regions in the cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

This version, therefore, manages to reach much more timid numbers in relation to other standards of the new mobile network, as shown in the report by the consultancy Opensignal. DSS was able to connect 2.4 times faster than 4G. In addition, the recently launched Motorola Edge is the only device for sale in the country that brings the function.

Also known as “little 5G”, 5G DSS can be considered a “middle ground” between real 5G and 4G. Despite this, the system guarantees a better experience for those who have a cell phone compatible with the new generation of technology. However, the results are far from the latency and speed of true 5G.

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