Difference between Reference and Service based 5G Architecture

Reference-based architecture :books: and Service-based architecture :globe_with_meridians: are two different approaches to organizing network components in 5G systems.

  1. Reference-based architecture :books::

Point-to-point connections :link:: Network components are connected through specific, pre-defined point-to-point connections.

Static relationships :building_construction:: The relationships between network components are relatively fixed and rigid, making it less flexible for changes or updates.

Less modular :jigsaw:: Components in reference-based architecture are less modular, which means modifying one part of the system can have a more significant impact on other parts.

Example: Traditional 4G architecture and early 5G Non-Standalone (NSA) deployments often used reference-based architecture.

  1. Service-based architecture (SBA) :globe_with_meridians::

Network functions as services :office:: In SBA, network components are designed as modular services that can be accessed and used by other components as needed.

API-driven communication :speech_balloon:: Components communicate using standardized APIs, allowing for more flexible and efficient communication between different parts of the network.

Easier scaling and updates :chart_with_upwards_trend:: Thanks to its modularity and flexible communication, SBA allows for easier scaling, adding new services, and updating existing components without affecting the entire system.

Example: 5G Standalone (SA) deployments and core networks utilize service-based architecture for improved flexibility, scalability, and efficiency.

In summary, reference-based architecture :books: is characterized by point-to-point connections :link:, static relationships :building_construction:, and less modularity :jigsaw:. In contrast, service-based architecture :globe_with_meridians: revolves around network functions as services :office:, API-driven communication :speech_balloon:, and easier scaling and updates :chart_with_upwards_trend:. SBA is the preferred approach for modern 5G Standalone deployments due to its flexibility and efficiency.

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