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Five Steps to 5G Deployment White Paper

Networking Solutions Island of Content Event

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Updated:June 7, 2019

Available Languages

Download Options

  • PDF
    (202.0 KB)
    View with Adobe Reader on a variety of devices
Updated:June 7, 2019

Table of Contents




5G is a fundamental transformation of mobile technology that will lay the path for many future technologies. It positions mobile technology as the core platform for advancing the innovations in future defining technologies.

At a high level, the 5G network architecture is depicted in the figure below. Even at this level there are some significant differences from previous generations:

1.     It is access agnostic and has disaggregated RAN

2.     Fronthaul and/or Midhaul are introduced, Mobil Core has new elements

3.     Control and User planes are separated and edge computing is introduced

Understanding evolving requirements, stitching together the pieces of the new network, and transitioning services and traffic from a very different existing network can be a complicated task.


Figure 1.        

5G architecture

5G planning and deployment start from a use case. Requirements can be vastly different depending on business requirements, which will affect the network in planning and all subsequent implementation phases. As an example, the following table shows expected latency requirements depending on a planned use case.

Table 1.           Latency per use case

Use Case / Function

Latency (One Way)

vRAN with Option 7 Split (DU) & Option 2 Split (CU)

~250us (fronthaul), ~10ms (midhaul)

Mobile Virtual Reality, Interactive Gaming


Mobile Augmented Reality


Factory Automation

0.25 – 10ms

Intelligent Transportation / Connected Car

1 – 100ms

Robotics and telepresence

10 – 100ms

Health care

1 – 10ms

As with many other major changes in the industry, 5G is expected to arrive in phases with a significant impact on existing infrastructure.

5G NSA (non-standalone) will be a transitional phase where the existing 4G packet core will serve subscribers attached through the 5G radio. This phase helps with RAN validation prior to the 5G-standalone setup. As SPs move through these phases eventually reaching 5G, networks will transform in a significant manner to support the new applications and their requirements.

Five steps are listed as a high-level approach to 5G deployment. As always, proper and detailed planning is a pre-requisite for any successful deployment, and this is no different. The deployment steps are:

1.     Infrastructure and network functions deployment

2.     Network slicing, automation, and onboarding

3.     Application servers and MEC deployment

4.     Security deployment

5.     Operational transformation

While it is usually expected for some steps to overlap and run in parallel, that is now the case more than ever. Sequential execution is not an option. All of the steps above are interleaved and have to be done together after detailed planning and with an end-to-end view. That makes the deployment more complex and challenging but it is necessary because neither of these aspects can be implemented without considering the others.

Click here for the 30-page detailed white paper. The five transitional steps that an SP should take when deploying a network are shown. The objective is to give you a better understanding of interdependencies for an easier migration.


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