5G is revolutionizing operations, offering high-speed, low-
While private 5G networks have shown to be a pivotal solution for numerous businesses, it requires an initial investment of time, resources, and capital. The journey to building a wireless network is filled with challenges, including coverage, spectrum allocation, security, and more.
In this article, we will explore some major challenges of deploying 5G private networks and share insights on how to overcome them, empowering you to navigate network design complexity and unlock the full potential of your private wireless network.
- Obtaining the right frequency band
- Optimizing coverage and avoiding interference
- Adapting to indoor & outdoor environments
- Integrating with existing infrastructure
- Meeting regulation requirements
Challenges of private network planning & design
Decades of assisting businesses in planning and deploying private networks have allowed Siradel to get acquainted with various indoor and outdoor environments and identify the major roadblocks in setting up 5G private networks. Whether in “standard” or more complex environments, it is necessary to anticipate challenges to better maximize network performance and cost efficiency.
1. Obtaining the right frequency band
Different frequency bands offer varying characteristics in terms of coverage, speed, and penetration capability. Obtaining the right band that aligns with the network’s requirements is essential for optimal performance. Higher frequencies offer faster speeds but struggle with penetration through buildings, while lower frequencies provide better coverage but might have limited capacity.
Whether dealing with indoor, outdoor or hybrid environments, the frequency band selected can significantly impact network performance and coverage. Precisely defining your needs at the very beginning of your private network project enables better anticipation and decision-making in this critical aspect. However, keep in mind that the choice of the frequency band will ultimately be influenced by regulatory mandates and spectrum allocation considerations.
2. Optimizing coverage and avoiding interference
5G private networks are appealing due to the high-performance, security, and flexibility they provide. It’s important to maximize coverage while avoiding interferences to ensure that you get the most out of your investment.
The key lies in deploying the correct number of antennas and positioning them accurately. Simply installing more antennas does not guarantee improved connectivity – it does, however, increase costs.
In crowded environments like stadiums or cities, operators need a network that enables users to benefit from high performance and low latency connectivity, while reducing interferences between cells and complex radio propagation behaviors, like diffraction and diffuse scattering.
To achieve promised 5G speeds and low latency while managing expenses efficiently, network designers must implement a strategic deployment of cells or repeaters. Propagation modeling is therefore a crucial element in determining the required number of 5G cells and their optimal placement.
3. Adapting to indoor and outdoor environments
Designing private networks requires careful consideration of the local environment. Complex environments like warehouses, ports, airports or cities, are even more challenging to comprehend and adapt to due to their unique characteristics.
In such environments, signals struggle to penetrate certain building materials, leading to potential coverage gaps and reduced performance indoors. To overcome signal attenuation, additional infrastructure might be required in indoor environments.
4. Integrating with existing infrastructure
Efficient 5G private networks are compatible with existing systems and technologies, such as IoT devices, legacy networks, 3G/4G networks, Wi-Fi…
Different technologies might be needed for different use cases. Some applications might benefit from the high data rates and low latency of 5G, while others, especially IoT applications with low-power and long-range requirements, might be better suited for technologies like LoRaWAN.
The co-existence of such different systems and equipment within the same environment can generate compatibility issues that need to be addressed to ensure seamless integration.
5. Meeting regulation requirements
Regulatory compliance is a challenge in the deployment of 5G private networks, as telecommunications regulations vary across regions and countries.
Network deployments must adhere to legal requirements and standards. Some of the specific challenges include:
- Spectrum licensing: Acquiring the necessary spectrum licenses to operate a private mobile network can be complex and time-consuming. Regulatory bodies allocate specific frequency bands for various uses, so it’s important to obtain the right spectrum.
- Data privacy and security: Private wireless networks often involve the transmission and processing of sensitive data. You must ensure compliance with user protection legislation such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in EU and other relevant laws.
- Environmental and Health regulations: to minimize concerns related to radiofrequency (RF) exposure and to the environmental footprint of the network infrastructure, operators should conduct thorough impact assessments and ensure compliance with safety standards.
How to address private network challenges in 3 simple steps
1. Use high-precision 3D building models
Achieving an optimized private network involves a meticulous understanding of indoor and outdoor environments and their interactions, ranging from individual sites to entire neighborhoods. Indoor and outdoor 3D geodata can help ensure this seamless connectivity.
This approach allows for a clear visualization of physical obstacles and opportunities, enabling the development of a network architecture tailored to the specific local environment, thereby enhancing overall performance.
2. Use wireless planning software to assess and simulate network performance
After obtaining a 3D model of your environment, integrate it with wireless propagation software for a thorough analysis and comprehensive assessment of 4G/5G and WiFi network performance. This step helps overcome coverage and interference challenges while optimizing costs, as well as ensuring regulatory compliance by assessing radiofrequency exposure. Compare deployment strategies, considering different technologies and frequencies, and evaluate each scenario’s performance based on throughput, latency, availability, and reliability, to address diverse use cases in both indoor and outdoor settings.
To help choose the optimal scenario, use the Automatic-Cell Selection (ACS) and Automatic-Cell Planning (ACP) features. Automatic-Cell Selection facilitates the automatic selection of optimal sites for small cells from a list of candidates, while Automatic Cell Planning enables cell configuration optimization (azimuth, tilt and height, transmitting power…)
These features, found in certain wireless planning software like S_5GConnect will ensure your coverage or capacity needs are met.
3. Lean on wireless network experts for customized support
On your journey to designing optimized cellular networks, you should engage with industry experts every step of the way and rely on their knowledge and experience in 5G private network design.
They can guide you through every step from defining your needs, your budget, designing your private network, to executing seamless connectivity analyses and simulations. They can also help with regulatory compliance by providing information on local or international regulations or recommending legal experts with whom to consult.
Ultimately, benefiting from this expertise will result in saving resources and optimizing cost efficiency, while granting you enhanced connectivity and network quality.
As we’ve seen, designing private networks presents numerous challenges: spectrum allocation, system integration, minimizing interference…
To overcome these challenges, network operators need to leverage the best tools and expertise available in the market. Wireless planning software is essential to design and optimize the network layout, coverage, and performance, while expert consulting services provide tailored solutions and guidance for specific use cases and scenarios.
To explore how wireless planning software and telecom consulting services can help you achieve your 5G private network goals, check out our latest private network case studies for complex environments (stadiums, ports…).
Need help designing your private network project? Feel free to contact us !
An all-in-one solution for optimized private network design
S_5GConnect, our wireless planning software, is designed to handle complex wireless network designs in outdoor, indoor or hybrid settings, whether for fixed or mobile scenarios.
S_5GConnect allows to:
- Easily create an accurate 3D model of your environment
- Deal with indoor, outdoor and hybrid characteristics and specificities
- Compare various deployment strategies to simulate and assess network performance with different technologies and frequencies
- Automatically calculate and select the best deployment strategy according to your specific needs, and deliver the right number of antennas and their optimal position.
- As a result, optimizing cost and project efficiency by investing the right amount of time, resources and capital