Accelerating Past the 6 Key Challenges of Deploying 5G

Network operators and vertical industries are under attack from both traditional and non-traditional competitors. To get – and stay – ahead, they must continuously reinvent their differentiating strengths and capabilities.

February 21, 2019

4 Min Read
Accelerating Past the 6 Key Challenges of Deploying 5G

Network operators and vertical industries are under attack from both traditional and non-traditional competitors. To get – and stay – ahead, they must continuously reinvent their differentiating strengths and capabilities – in other words their DNA. This is particularly critical as 5G comes into view. As they look to deploy and leverage 5G and transform their technology, we see six main challenges that network operators will need to overcome.

  • Spectrum availability and network deployment feasibility
    Spectrum will remain a critical resource in 5G and its availability and cost will have a major impact on a network operator’s ability to create a robust business case. The move from 4G to 5G will give rise to a large amount of new use cases. Their feasibility will depend heavily on the type and amount of spectrum network operators have available or are able to secure in future auction. That’s going to be a crucial factor in determining the subset of use cases each network will be able to economically support.

  • Strategy use cases and business model
    Each operator must understand its DNA – i.e. the specific strengths and capabilities it possesses – as an essential step to determining the most relevant strategy, use cases and business model that they can support to accelerate the next generation of network growth. That understanding is also essential to predict the likely financial implications, including the pressures on traditional revenue, opportunities to find new models and the investment required for the business and service strategy.

  • Device innovation and technology breakthroughs
    5G brings some considerable technical challenges that will require innovation and technology evolution. The move to 5G will herald the start of a new post-smartphone era, with a shift to purpose-built services delivered either through the IoT or surrounding the smartphone as part of a whole new world of devices. These will require specific product and technology strategies to support the new use cases they create.

  • Network deployment approach
    Once they’ve decided on a strategy for 5G, operators need to decide what their approach to network deployment needs to be. The deployment model and approach required will look very different depending on the spectrum networks have and the densification and coverage that they need for their target use cases. The use of mmW frequencies will require breakthroughs in network designs and 5G small cells will also require a new approach to regulation and deployment planning approach.

  • Architectural and platform innovation
    New architecture and platforms will also be critical to support the deployment and operation of 5G in both the RAN and core network. The choice of these will be largely driven by the concept of virtualization and what level / type of cloud a network is implementing within its core network. Continuing to pursue disruptive technologies will be essential and business success with network slicing will require a new operating model.

  • Operational complexity
    As they deploy their network, the ability to apply intelligence and automation to drive a leaner operational capability will be a crucial factor. Network and IT architectures merging, and end-to-end services-based operations predominating will require a complete transformation of stacks, processes and people.

Accenture 5G Acceleration Services
Accenture offers a comprehensive set of capabilities to accelerate the evolution to 5G networks and services. Our services aim to transform network operations and management by leveraging digital and next-generation technologies. We help network operators to address the issues they face, including:

  • Spectrum availability, network deployment feasibility

  • Device innovation and technology breakthroughs

  • Network deployment approach

  • Architectural and platform innovation

  • Operational complexity

We achieve this with specific services, including:

  • 5G business/technology strategy: We define network operator 5G DNA to determine how to best deploy and monetize 5G given existing assets and market position, with a GSI data-driven decision engine to refine segmentation strategy.

  • 5G use cases and business model: We leverage our industry experience to co-create B2C and B2B use cases, develop go-to-market strategies and build the business case.

  • Spectrum availability and feasibility assessment: We determine a 5G low-band, mid-band and high-band spectrum strategy. We can emulate 5G lab solutions to assess feasibility before full solution investment.

  • Build and deploy network capabilities: A service factory model can roll out scaled small cells, leveraging field install services (i.e. scheduling, dispatch, digital worker support, etc.).

  • Operate and maintain the 5G network: We help breakdown commercial products into their technical composition to drive lean ops and lean task management and simplify how to handle multiple activities.

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