5G Standalone (SA) phones are mobile devices equipped with their own 5G new radio, allowing the device to connect directly to 5G networks.
As a result, SA phones offer improved connection speeds compared to non-5G mobile devices, providing better performance without the need for an existing 4G infrastructure.
In a related development, Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) has revealed that phones make up over half (57.8 per cent) of the announced 5th generation mobile network devices with stated 5G Standalone support.
In its May 2023 5G Standalone: Global Status Report, GSA stated that 917 5G Standalone phones were announced.
According to Dgtl Infra, 5G Standalone is an implementation of 5G that solely uses a 5G core network, indicating that it has no dependency on 4G LTE network control functions for signalling and data transfer.
Dgtl Infra added that at scale, 5G SA will deliver lower costs for wireless carriers, a better user experience, and support new use cases.
GSA noted that the number of 5G SA devices as a percentage of all 5G devices announced had been steadily climbing, accounting for 35.6 per cent of 5G devices in December 2019, a 49.7 per cent increase when compared with that of December 2020 and a 54.6 per cent rise in December 2021.
It further stated the 5G SA recorded a significant 81.8 per cent increase in December 2022. As of March 2023, they accounted for 83.6 per cent.
Looking solely at devices that are currently commercially available, phones account for an even larger proportion, at 59.4 per cent (726 phones), followed by modules (144 devices) and fixed wireless access equipment (169 devices).
A total of 134 vendors had commercial 5G devices for SA networks and another 50 have announced devices.
The report also identified 116 operators in 53 countries and territories worldwide that had been investing in public 5G SA networks in the form of trials, planned or actual deployments.
This equates to 22.1 per cent of the 524 operators known to be investing in 5G licences, trials or deployments of any type.
At least 35 operators in 24 countries and territories have launched or deployed public 5G SA networks, one of which has only soft-launched its 5G SA network, the report states.
“GSA tracks the availability of 5G devices for end users in its GAMBoD database.
“With 5G SA networks just beginning to be launched, it is already aware of 1,586 announced devices with claimed support for 5G SA, up 131.1 per cent from 686 at the end of 2021.
“Of those, 1,331 devices are already commercially available, up 155 per cent from 522 at the end of 2021.
“For Chipset and Device Vendors, the device ecosystem is supported by 80 announced modems or mobile processors/platform chipsets stated to support 5G SA, from six vendors.
“Of those, 76 are understood to be commercially available, including 14 discrete modems, 60 mobile processors and platforms and two Internet of Things chipsets.
“The market is seeing the emergence of a strong 5G SA ecosystem with chipsets, devices of many types and users of public as well as private networks.
“We can expect to see the market go from strength to strength.
“As it does, GSA will continue to track its evolution and we will be looking out for important new trends as they emerge,” the report stated.
The 5G Standalone technology offers improved capacity and latency (or loading speed), allowing for more data usage and faster response times when accessing the internet.
Additionally, 5G SA will have significant impacts on data consumption, as it will enable higher bandwidths and faster download speeds, allowing for faster streaming of audio and video content.
This increased data usage will likely require increased infrastructure to support this additional demand and usage.
Finally, the technology is also beneficial for businesses that rely heavily on audio and video streaming services, as the faster download speeds make it easier to access and stream videos and content.
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