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How to tackle 5 Network Challenges in the 5G Era

While many in the industry believe standalone core will have a material impact on 5G growth, wider network challenges could slow down traction beyond eMBB and cap service revenue growth.

With its fast adoption to date, 5G is poised to unleash greater capabilities as we enter the next phase. Together with advancements in AI/ML and automation, adoption of edge and cloud computing, and collaboration across the whole ecosystem, 5G has the potential to unleash a new era of innovation and progress.

The key to winning in this era lies within five core areas. In this article, we investigate the network challenges and the opportunities they present to Communication Service Providers (CSPs).

  1. Extending Technology

According to survey data by, capabilities starting with fixed wireless access and aiming for ultra-reliable low latency and massive machine-type communications for network slicing, as well as mobile private networks are among the greatest commercial features of 5G. However, for many CSPs delivering on these commercial capabilities and services and reaping the commercial benefits remains elusive.

While 5G is capable of supporting expanded service requirements with a single network infrastructure that will support the radio access network (RAN) as well as the core network, such new enabled use cases will equally require a new operating model that is unique and inevitably complicated compared to earlier networks.

Operators that are keen to offer cutting-edge consumer and enterprise products and services need to showcase their 5G expertise. As such, the right skill sets to develop the architecture that can properly deliver network requirements are needed. Further, CSPs that aim to seize these newly enabled opportunities need to embrace a platform-based strategy in order to stay ahead of the game from competition.

  1. Systems integration

With the expanded services 5G unleashes, CSPs need to ensure that all applications, IT environments, security components, and drive and management capabilities are connected and working seamlessly together, while also ensuring the overall network and service meet technical and business requirements. Meanwhile, aiming to bridge these multiple systems can lead to complex challenges and will require industry-specific technology.

Using data intelligence technologies, driven by AI/ML, CSPs can transform complex data into intelligent digestible insights, which enables the harnessing of that data to boost business SLAs/SLOs and improve operational efficiencies.

With constantly evolving customer expectations, augmented experience centers can also support the delivery of hyper-personalized and effortless experiences for customers. Anticipating customer needs and challenges enables them to deliver the right solutions at the right time and through the most suited communication channel for the customer.

Combined, customers and internal business functions alike can anticipate a more streamlined and integrated delivery and experience.

  1. Ecosystem & Collaboration

To deliver end-to-end services underpinned by service quality, leveraging an ecosystem of solutions through partnerships can accelerate and transform the way telecom service infrastructure is created, implemented, deployed and exposed.

Even before the dawn of 5G, CSPs have begun to build strategic partnerships across the ecosystem such as those with online gaming companies. Enabling the e-commerce segment, beyond simply providing connectivity, is another opportunity for CSPs to enter the popular online marketplace.

To this end, enabling third parties to charge for new 5G services and managing their transactions intelligently will also be key to driving continued growth in the digital economy. Meanwhile, expanding into adjacent industries through 5G network’s API and beyond connectivity exposure such as NaaS and NaaP present yet other routes to collaborate with the ecosystem and enable B2B2X partnership models.

The modest growth delivered by traditional revenue streams has put great pressure on CSPs. Ecosystem opportunities and collaborations can offset market pressures for data commoditization, resulting in flat-to-declining ARPUs. Building and fostering an ecosystem of partners and developers alongside their own core products where anyone can participate in an open digital architecture will be vital for CSPs. This will allow them to prove their readiness to their customer base, as well as to lead and innovate as the next market evolution unfolds.

  1. Monetization

5G promises to support new services and network experiences for its users and to increase the digitization of enterprises. While CSPs make huge investments to build and maintain their infrastructure, they also need to monetize those assets effectively and intelligently, beyond providing simple connectivity. This means, network providers need to evolve into providers of ‘experiences’. Here, optimized cloud-driven scale is already realizing returns from 5G for those that have made the move.

New services continue to evolve from concept to mainstream. The engines underpinning their monetization, i.e. the billing and charging systems, must be hyper-flexible in order to optimise returns from 5G. For effective monetization, these systems will need to mimic cloud-driven speed and diversity of services as they hit the market and evolve rapidly. Both charging capabilities and billing systems must work in tandem with exposure opportunities, whether derived from 5G Network functions or beyond connectivity, in order to broaden the range of monetization possibilities.

Handling demanding requirements such as the usage allocation of individual devices within a shared enterprise (e.g. as part of a B2B2X model for massive machine-type communication), or ultra-flexible tiered pricing models and segmentations that handle large customers (e.g. large enterprises or governments), can be costly. Cloud-native solutions and platforms can support charging and operations cost-effectively and facilitate operational and business footprints extension with hyperscalers.

  1. Automation

Managing legacy systems, technology silos, driving scale and culture, as well as implementing new network operations and IT infrastructures for daily activities are also some of the challenges to innovation, scale and growth in the 5G era. Automated solution management can support daily activities to break these barriers, especially at a time when operators have to continue to manage a hybrid network.

To ensure activities deliver high product quality and improved customer experience, AI-driven test automation significantly increases both the speed and coverage of testing. Automation also excels at repetitive tasks and frees up human resources for high-value and strategic tasks. This in turn boosts productivity and availability. As such, automation can ramp up growth and drive innovation while reducing costs.

While dynamic networks, zero-touch and intent-based operations are the ultimate goal, it is important to begin by putting in place the steppingstones such as the platform and processes, along with the ecosystem needed that will ultimately deliver agility, efficiency, productivity, and security, tailored to the needs of a future-proofed 5G network.


As CSPs continue to roll out 5G networks, they will face a number of challenges both in the network, services, and extended footprint domains. Network complexity both in the planning, deployment (including integration), and management phase can slow down growth opportunities.

Technologies including AI and automation, cloud-based platforms, edge computing, data analytics, service assurance and more, in combination with 5G and Amdocs Networks, can help service providers unlock the full potential of these newly offered capabilities. These include revenue-rich services and new business models in both the B2B/C and B2B2X domains.

Learn more about Amdocs Networks and how to change your network game.

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