5G Protocol Stack Layers & Their Use Cases

  1. Physical Layer
    Transmits raw data using radio signals.

    • Use Case: Streaming a video on your smartphone.
  2. MAC Layer (Medium Access Control)
    Allocates radio resources for users’ data transmission.

    • Use Case: Prioritizing emergency calls over regular data traffic.
  3. RLC Layer (Radio Link Control)
    Corrects errors that occur over the air interface.

    • Use Case: Ensuring a file you download is error-free.
  4. PDCP Layer (Packet Data Convergence Protocol)
    Encrypts messages for security and compresses headers for efficiency.

    • Use Case: Securely sending an email from your phone.
  5. SDAP Layer (Service Data Adaptation Protocol)
    Matches data flows to QoS requirements.

    • Use Case: Streaming a live sports event with high quality.
  6. RRC Layer (Radio Resource Control)
    Sets up and manages radio bearers.

    • Use Case: Establishing a connection when you make a video call.
  7. NAS Layer (Non-Access Stratum)
    Manages mobility and sessions beyond the radio access network.

    • Use Case: Switching cell towers as you move while staying on a call.


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