The Drawbacks of 5G Technology

The Drawbacks of 5G Technology

Enterprise Networking Mag | Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Enterprises are assessing the impact of 5G on their operations. Before realizing the benefits, they must consider the following 5G disadvantages.

FREMONT, CA: Even as carriers continue to target consumers with their 5G offerings, businesses stand to gain the most from the most recent cellular standard. However, faster wireless connectivity will not be accessible. Several companies will have to redesign their infrastructure to take advantage of 5G's performance. Businesses will encounter some 5G disadvantages as they implement the 5G connectivity standard and its associated products and services.

Security: The transport security algorithms offered by the 5G standard are more extensive than those supported by the 4G standard, but businesses may experience additional cybersecurity risks. As attackers attempt to exploit weaknesses, the sheer quantity of IoT devices and components connected to 5G networks will drastically raise the company's vulnerability to attacks. The 5G gadgets themselves may also be the reason for concern since nation-state actors may infect the chips and other components designed to power these devices with malware. The usage of network slicing—creating a virtual network to carry a particular application or service—with 5G networks must also be carefully considered by businesses. 5G management software is susceptible to attack; a breach in any component of a carrier's or enterprise's infrastructure could result in severe security issues throughout the network. This year, vendors and carriers are anticipated to advertise private 5G networks aggressively. Private 5G networks are available to businesses with reduced risk tolerance.

Capex/Opex: To get the full benefits of 5G, businesses will need to upgrade and replace their network components with those equipped with processors engineered to handle the standard's increased speeds and performance metrics. Even when more 5G-compatible equipment becomes available, businesses will still need to find strategies to maximize their 5G investments if a significant portion of their network infrastructure is dependent on older equipment. As carrier and equipment pricing fluctuates, price considerations will be crucial.

Variable coverage: Carriers have expedited the rollout of 5G in part by purchasing a spectrum that offers transmission options other than millimeter wave (mmWave). However, many regions of the United States will not have 5G coverage for several years. Enterprises with rural operations may be more susceptible to 5G service gaps and will be forced to rely on older connectivity solutions. Consequently, businesses without access to 5G, or those forced to wait for an extended period until carriers offer 5G service in their regions, may experience a decline in competitiveness.

Visibility and penetrability concerns: Common objects can easily block mmWave's high-frequency signals, making it difficult to ensure uniform coverage throughout an office or factory. As a result, organizations may need to reconfigure some facilities to ensure enough service or use mid-band or low-band 5G flavors to increase coverage if offered by carriers. Citizens Broadband Radio Service spectrum is another alternative, especially for private 5G networks.

The hype factor: Assessing the impact of 5G on an organization's operations might be complicated by claims from carriers and vendors. Companies must take the time to comprehend how they intend to utilize 5G to maximize the technology's benefits and justify the required ROI. 5G differs from past technologies initially driven by businesses and then accepted by consumers. In the case of 5G, the reverse is true. Enterprise adoption will be hampered until 5G-compatible devices are widely accessible, 5G-specific applications and services are developed, and a genuine 5G connection is reliable and pervasive.

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