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Fast-tracking early 5G has stored up future headaches for MNOs

When a group led by AT&T pushed a fast-track 5G New Radio standard, Non-Standalone (NSA), through the 3GPP, it enabled operators to deploy a 5G RAN more quickly and easily than they had expected – but just succeeded in storing up problems for the future. Because 5G NR NSA uses the LTE core, most operators which have launched 5G already have been able to make relatively simple upgrades to their RANs – in most cases, deploying very limited numbers of base stations, using existing site infrastructure, and often simply being able to activate a previously installed 5G-ready base station. This has some benefits – enabling faster speeds and some new applications in congested urban areas; supporting fixed wireless access (FWA)…

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