What are the challenges in implementing 5G networks?

What is 5G?

The fifth generation of cellular networks is known as 5G. With 5G, we get access to increased bandwidth, ultra-low latency, and faster connectivity, expanding civilizations, revolutionizing industries, and radically improving day-to-day experiences. E-health, networked vehicles and traffic systems, and advanced mobile cloud gaming were formerly considered futuristic. We can help create a smarter, safer, and more sustainable future with 5G technology.

In this article, you will get to know some of the challenges faced by 5G networks.

Creating dense and complicated networks

5G networks will be far more complex than existing networks. The requirement for denser networks is one aspect of this growing complexity. Although robust, new 5G antennas and RAN gear cover substantially less space than 4G macro cells.

Spectrum availability

Spectrum acquisition is always an issue for service providers implementing new technology or enhancing an existing one. 5G, on the other hand, places a high demand on the spectrum since, to attain Gbps data rates or ultra-low latency, significant pieces of the licenced spectrum are required.

In the end, it will be up to the ITU and national authorities to ensure that enough spectrum is accessible. Service providers will ideally desire a mix of below 1GHz (for coverage), above 6GHz (for capacity), and 1-6GHz as a middle ground between the two. Operating over 6GHz in the mm-Wave range is, of course, problematic in and of itself.

Hybrid LTE-NR deployment is crucial

Non-standalone 5G, which employs LTE core and LTE access as the anchor for New Radio, is used in the early phase of 5G installations (NR). LTE eNB and 5G gNB are in charge of traffic control and surplus user traffic above LTE traffic.

Using the macro-LTE layer to configure hybrid LTE-NR is helpful for 5G deployment in the mmW band and boosts mobility between hotspots. At modest speeds, the mobility acquired via mmW works effectively. Nonetheless, these advantages are derived from the dual connection (EN-DC) performance, and 5G network testing is challenging due to its complexity. For data transfer and signalling to the NR, it requires synchronization between the gNB and the eNB.

Managing traffic

In contrast to traditional human-to-human traffic in cellular networks, a large number of Machine to Machine (M2M) devices in a cell may provide significant system issues, such as radio access network (RAN) challenges, resulting in overload and congestion

Regulations obstruct the implementation of 5G networks

5G will be developed at a different rate in each country, with few standard and varied features. This means that while some technical features are universal, rules and regulations are not, as each country has its own set of legislation, which is one of the most challenging aspects of deploying 5G networks.

In the area where they are about to supply 5G mobile network services to users, mobile network operators must comply with the standards developed for 5G network technology. As a result, it is critical to recognize and comprehend 5G rules in the country to establish 5G wireless networks and develop a 5G deployment roadmap accordingly.

Smaller market for 5G-enabled gadgets

When compared to non-5G phones, there are very few 5G devices available on the market. This could be due to the complicated 5G architecture and a scarcity of engineers skilled in this cutting-edge technology who can decipher the codes and set up 5G-enabled gadgets. This contributes to 5G difficulties and opportunities for chip designers to create semiconductors that can support advanced 5G devices.

Low-Latency Requirements

To function effectively, 5G networks require ultra-low deterministic latency. While it is not as crucial for telecom applications, it is necessary for a growing industry of devices that can only tolerate a single millisecond delay for one-way communications throughout the entire infrastructure. This speed and volume of data are too much for legacy networks to handle.


NFV (Network Functions Virtualization) and SDN (Software Defined Networking) are not precisely new concepts even in the mobile business. Some service providers are much ahead of the curve when it comes to virtualizing their core and RAN. However, many aren't, posing a significant obstacle for both the migration of the EPC to CUPS and the deployment of the 5G SBA (Service Based Architecture) and the introduction of C-RAN (Centralized RAN).

Although solution vendors are on hand to help with the initial implementation, there are many other issues to contend with, not least those related to wholly new OSS and BSS operational procedures.

Managing new security concerns

Every new technology introduces new dangers, and 5G is no exception. Because 5G networks are significantly spread, connected, and sometimes remote, new thought must be given to potential cybersecurity risks.

Maintaining low operating and maintenance costs.

Adding the essential gear for 5G networks can dramatically raise operational costs. These expenditures, of course, extend beyond the hardware. Networks must be configured, tested, monitored, and upgraded regularly, all of which add to operational costs.

Unaware public and bad publicity

Perhaps a lack of awareness among the general population has resulted in a slew of knee-jerk reactions to frequently inaccurate or even false information about what 5G technology is. There are much more severe hazards to the health of birds, trees, and humans than the harm posed by 5G, yet there are (valid?) worries among the general public that will be difficult to address.


Any new technology deployment is fraught with difficulties, both technical and non-technical. This list only touches the surface, but it should serve as a reminder of some of the most pressing concerns for mobile service providers and, to a lesser extent, vendors. In the end, 5G must be a success for the sake of the industry.

Updated on: 17-Aug-2021


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