Potential barriers to 5G adoption

November 4, 2020

As 5G connectivity spreads, it’s useful to take some time to understand the pros and cons of quick adoption. Of course, 5G generally promises less latency and expanded capabilities. However, as with all emerging technologies, early adoption can also lead to certain limitations, as organisations and consumers discover what works seamlessly and what needs further development.

Cloud services and services that depend on edge computing will naturally benefit from 5G. The idea is that 5G will be able to bridge the gaps in connectivity between a central server and the edge, speeding up networking times.

However, security and interoperability may impede full and ideal 5G adoption.

5G network security depends on the security measures implemented by its providers. Some security decisions are being made at the government level, but these may not be as specific or adequate for the needs of certain organisations.

Ideally, 5G networks should have identity management in place, such as zero-trust architecture. Additionally, measures such as network slicing will be key in ensuring that any hacks are limited to just one section of a network. This also has the added benefit of implementing cybersecurity processes that are unique to the needs of the specific network slice. And, ultimately, any network that utilises 5G will need to be able to be patched, updated and defended quickly.

In terms of interoperability, 5G certainly still has room to grow. At present, vendors have focused on creating and championing implementations that are unique to their solutions, which may ultimately stifle innovation. It may also make full adoption more difficult as organisations struggle to select services that fit their business needs, work with their infrastructure and successfully operate with each other.

5G networks are set to gain traction and adoption in the coming year. As enterprises look to update and streamline their business processes these concerns will have to be addressed to ensure a smooth transition.

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