While 5G talks have become mainstream in the telecommunication industry, reality is that delivering on the new network presents challenges at infrastructure, technological and operational level: 5G brings in new antennas and a new set of skills for engineers who will have to learn how to develop and maintain cloud native environments.
Many operators are still recovering from the investments made to upgrade their network to 4G, and already have to think of how to bridge the voice gap with the mandatory 3G shutdown & the transition to voice-over-4G (VoWiFi) before considering further moves into IMS and 5G.
The situation where telecom networks are just 5G standalone will only happen in many years time (where by the way, they might co-exist or be superseded by newest 6G deployments). In the meantime, networks will be a mix of IMS, 5G SA, 5G NSA-4G, 3G and 2G for different geographical areas, including complex roaming scenarios that are still under development.
The point that summarizes the challenges around the 5G transition is therefore interworking between all networks (from 2G to 5G) and how to bridge the gaps left behind by 3G shutdowns.
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