Q and A, Is 5G protocol stack different from 4G?

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Q and A, Is 5G protocol stack different from 4G?

Postby Chunl1 » 25 Jan 2021, 10:44

Is 5G protocol stack different from 4G?

My friend: Hi Ibrahim, I have a question for you.

Me: Please, go ahead.

My friend: Is there any difference between 4G and 5G protocol stack?

Me: Yes, they are different slightly. If you checked the protocol stack of the 5G control plane, you can find similar layers to the 4G control plane, however the protocol stack of the 5G user plane has an extra layer which is SDAP (Service Data Adaptation Protocol) which is used to map each QoS flow into a specific Data Radio Bearer (DRB) as QoS flow is a new concept introduced in 5G and was not available in 4G before.

My friend: So, same layers with same functions, right?

Me: No, it doesn’t mean same layers for 4G and 5G, that same functions are exist for both layers. For example, the PDCP layer in 5G has different functions than 4G such as in 5G, PDCP layer can do PDCP PDU routing for the so called split bearers in case of operating in dual connectivity mode and split bearer concept is not there in 4G, also RRC layer in 5G is responsible for on-demand system information and also RRC inactive state which are new concepts in 5G.

My friend: Thank you very much.

Me: You are most welcome.

From Ibrahim Sayed
URL = https://www.linkedin.com/in/ibrahim-sayed-88a7747-5g/
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