As we are entering into the last quarter of 2020, we experienced an unexpected increase in 3G/4G/5G data demands with the outbreak of disaster named COVID-19 across the globe. Consequently, the sudden outburst in the last couple of months had slowed down the entire process to roll out 5G network wireless technology on a large scale due to nationwide lockdown and fear to visit cell tower sites that are crucial for network inspection.
Talking about the 5G market – At the end of 2019, 348 operators in 119 nations had announced their interest in investing in 5G networks. About 10% of all LTE Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) have deployed 5G, and 8% have launched the technology till now. MNOs are now slowly expediting the process with small iterations of networks pop-ups in 2020. However, few challenges are acting as a speed-breaker in the deployment of 5G.
Let us know about the various challenges of 5G network deployment around the world, comprising regulatory standards and deployment costs.
Various Challenges Of 5G Network Deployment
- 5G infrastructure cost and spectrum availability are the core barriers – 5G network operations involves a considerable investment from fibre cables to cell towers, availability of high demand spectrum (HDS) to a skilled workforce to perform such intensive tasks. Operators need to have a proper plan that can execute on a phase-by-phase to balance out the infrastructure cost and solve the issues as and whenever required while proceeding to the next stage. Other costs comprise of spectrum licensing, 5G network testing and retesting fees.
- Feasibility check for network coverage and deployment – Assessing network coverage is an important criterion that needs to consider for any network technology to deploy. Based on 5G network parameters, operators need to assess network signals, voice and call signals to provide enhanced Quality of Experience (QoE) to users.
- 5G is not everyone’s cup of tea – 5G technology comprises functions that far way intricated and time-consuming. Operators who can crack network operations code and run simulations simultaneously in a successful manner can be deal winners in 5G rollout race.
- 5G network testing is the foundation – Rigorous 5G network testing needs to perform before 5G networks are commercialised and made accessible for public users. Operators are looking out for many 5G drive test tools available in the market that can execute their network testing in a comfortable and sophisticated way to measure network performance.
- Low demand for 5G phones – 5G phones are yet to leveraged in most of the markets worldwide. With few markets having a hold of 5G phones, it is quite difficult for the operators to gain a return on investment (ROI) as they have to invest millions of dollars in accomplishing 5G rollout mission.
- Regulatory standards must be in place – To abide by the rules, operators follow certain regulatory norms for places where they will be performing network tests. Such rules and regulations generally include – zoning policies, high costs, aesthetic issues as 5G hardware will install on street lights, poles, etc.
- Security is a concern with 5G connections – Security is always important as there is an increase in the number of security attacks. Cybersecurity engineers need to deploy new-age technologies in-compliance with security standards to make 5G technology more secured and handle future malicious attacks.
- Higher the network version, higher the deployment costs – Regulator demands for high-end prices to roll out the technology in the market to users. Though 5G has many advanced features like faster speed, low latency, higher reliability etc. when benchmarked with 4G/3G network versions, initial costs of commercialising it to users cost a huge amount for the operators.
5G is gaining its pace, and early adopters in 5G game can achieve success as they kick out all the hurdles they face in the deployment of wireless technology. No doubt, the entire process too complicated with herculean tasks, operators who are structurally planning 5G networks are contributing to the success of new-age technology, bringing innovations in the ecosystem with industry-specific 5G use cases that will ultimately improve the way people live and do their business in the years to come.
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