Challenges of 5G Migration and How to Overcome Them

5G migration to the fifth generation of wireless cellular networks will bring plenty of perks and new opportunities. Customers can benefit from lower latency, faster speeds, and the potential to accommodate a broader range of internet of things (IoT) devices than 4G. 

Additionally, 5G technology will bring excellent stability, universal connectivity, and a wide range of networking applications. 

5G Migration - 4G and 5G TowersWhy Is 5G Migration So Crucial?

Businesses have plenty to gain from switching to 5G. The significantly faster speeds and reliable services unlock a wealth of new use cases for companies to explore, such as cloud-native features previously unavailable. You can also connect various IoT devices without network limitations because 5G can handle high network volumes without a drop in performance. 

Network slicing is also greatly improved with 5G. Businesses can have their private networks and create multiple virtual networks for different services with different network requirements. 

Challenges to Expect With 5G Migrating to Full-Fledged 5G Services

Despite the numerous benefits of using 5G wireless technology, adoption is still difficult for many companies. Changing to new systems is rarely easy, which holds for 5G networks. Below you will learn about some of the challenges to expect when migrating to 5G:

Complex Architecture

To successfully deploy 5G for your business, you'll need to develop the necessary architecture and platforms to accommodate this new technology. The wireless technology comes in various products with many features that complicate it. This complication creates the need for highly skilled network technicians with the knowledge of 5G to set it up and manage it properly. 

New, intricate techniques — such as single network infrastructure to support Radio Access Network (RAN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) — require processes that are not just different but more complex to develop than previous versions. 

Availability and Deployment Issues

Since 5G network technology is still relatively new, many locations will have to wait a while to get service. Telecom companies take a lot of time for 5G migration in both urban and rural areas due to factors like:

  • Spectrum availability and licensing issues
  • High cost of setting up the network, including the physical hardware and deployment fees required by regulators
  • Strict regulations on radiation, both locally and globally

Due to these challenges, 5G deployment and expansion will likely happen first in places with a high return on investment (ROI), so you might have to wait if you're not within these areas. 

Securing 5G networks is also an ongoing challenge. Although they inherently have more security features than 3G and 4G networks, several new obstacles exist. 

One such issue arises from the need to have many smaller antennas and base stations. 5G wireless networks mostly use high-frequency bands, which do not travel as far as lower bands. The numerous 5G cell towers and antennas can potentially permit precise location tracking and compromise user data privacy. 

Lack of 5G-Enabled Devices and Lack of Infrastructure

5G deployment has wound down due to the market's limited quantity of the required accessories. There are various technical challenges that manufacturers must overcome. 

For example, 5G networks consume a lot of power transmitting over high-frequency bands and therefore have heating issues. Manufacturing devices with multi-band support for high and lower-range frequencies is also an issue. The number of companies ready to roll out this technology is limited, leading to a shortage of devices on the market. 

How to Overcome Challenges for Smooth 5G Migration

Create a Migration Roadmap and Migration Path

Before introducing 5G to your business, you'll need to investigate how its adoption will impact your business. Some of the factors to consider include:

  • How you'll support your networks during and after the migration
  • How the migration will affect the end-user experience 
  • The costs associated with the process, such as purchasing the latest hardware and working with new IT service providers
  • How to maintain data security during and after a 5G migration

A smooth migration process requires a sound migration strategy and planning. You should also carefully analyze your specific business case and how the transition aligns with your business goals.

Your business case should help you design a migration roadmap to successful delivery. Working with your IT provider can help speed up this process. 

Strategize Deployment Scenarios and Deployment Strategies

You can deploy your new 5G network in two ways, either non-standalone (NSA) or standalone (SA). NSA networks are built on top of existing 4G connections. The benefits of this strategy are a faster deployment time, faster mobile broadband, and connectivity over more radio bands. 

On the other hand, SA networks are built entirely on 5G. Some benefits of 5G standalone networks include simplified operations, enhanced security, network slicing, and future-proof network architecture and infrastructure. 

You can also implement private networks in two ways. The first scenario is building an isolated 5G network (5G island), separate from the mobile operator's public network.

5G islands are constructed either by enterprises or your mobile service provider. It is usually a very costly venture for smaller enterprises, and they have to opt for the second option —  sharing an operator's public network resources. The operator will then build a private 5G network for your business. 

The different deployment strategies and deployment scenarios have their respective advantages and disadvantages. Depending on your business needs and operational budget, you'll need to identify the best deployment scenario and plan. 

Prepare for the Eventual Migration to 5G Technology

There will be plenty of 5G challenges along the way. However, the benefits far outweigh the obstacles, and businesses must prepare for and overcome them. 

Strategizing your migration and deployment procedures is at the core of successful 5G deployment for your business. 

Are you thinking of introducing 5G cellular technology to your business? Novotech is a leading telecommunications partner, helping businesses of all sorts meet their network needs and stay on the cutting edge of tech. 

Get connected to secure and reliable cellular internet, no matter where you are. Contact us today and learn how to propel your business forward with our 5G solutions.