The innovative data-based mobile services can easily bridge the current digital divide for internet access. Such network configuration services will have a positive and transformative impact on the infrastructure and lifestyles of the general public using the network. However, economics towards such large-scale network deployments are the main blocking point, especially to under-served areas. 5G networks if deployed properly can empower any local community while being practically feasible for the operators. The 5G is a private mobile network solution that can integrate the existing IT infrastructure with full control and data ownership.
Challenges faced during deployment of mobile networks in under-served regions
While it is necessary to uplift society, any mobile network deployment faces a range of challenges, especially in rural or under-developed regions. The major constraint for any network operator is to manage the sparse population density with the affordability while handling the unreliability of power sources. The terrain of such an area also has an impact on the nearest point of presence or PoP. These factors have a major influence on the architecture of the network, reliability of the network, and deployment costs. Some of these key challenges that any network operator faces in remote locations are:
Challenge 1: High operational costs and infrastructure requirements
Any network configuration services in rural areas seems an economically unattractive option for traditional operators. They are unable to balance the high infrastructure needs for access and backhaul and the recurring operating expenses that would serve only a small population which may be spread across a large area. The costs of powering the base stations too in such areas may be a factor that does not allow such traditional operators to expand into rural areas of the country. For non-traditional or private operators too these are prohibitive reasons to use any licensed spectrums that are expensive.
Challenge 2: Lack of affordable network infrastructure
The middle-mile or backhaul network infrastructure is also a challenge for any mobile network deployment in such areas. This is a crucial part that provides the end-to-end connectivity that bridges any local networks to reach the wider internet. This piggybacking on local networks also dictates the reliability of the network solution and its effective capacity to bring about social change. While a variety of wireless and wired solutions are available, the proportional distance defines their capacity and reliability. The distances also attract maintenance costs, powering needs, and types of spectrums available in such areas.
Challenge 3: Limited flexibility
While proprietary black box solutions have improved network configuration services in rural and remote areas, they are not flexible options. The demand of the market is usually different from one region and community to the other. A single and rigid solution for the deployment model created with insufficient data in an urban center usually fails. The diversity and terrain of the area has to be studied and assimilated into the design process itself to ensure the deployment plan works perfectly. This requires dedication to study the needs and requirements of the community and then create a viable plan for deployment.
What is 5G?
The 5G is a mobile network solution that can provide high-performance connectivity for low-latency communications and applications. Such a mobile network deployment in any area through a wireless system provides an enterprise full control over their budgets, coverage, and service levels. It also helps the network provider control over the resources it may provide over its cellular network as per the needs of the community. While nowadays this deployment can be achieved in only a few hours, one needs to take crucial steps to ensure the performance of the network and balance it against the infrastructure.
Any network configuration services in any kind of area requires this crucial step of planning. A carefully drawn network plan ensures that the network performance and infrastructure meet the desired outcomes for the region under coverage. Estimating the size of any cellular network may look like a mammoth task at first but one may use a variety of free tools to get started. These web-based tools can provide data on device density, coverage needs, and spectrum availability in any geographical area. Satellite imagery and simulated heatmaps can provide further points to pick suitable hardware configurations for such areas.
The next step for any mobile network deployment is to pick the correct hardware as per the various points detailed in the network plan. One needs to figure out the access points and the accessories required to ensure proper outdoor and indoor coverage as per the needs of the area. These access points should be easily installable for indoor settings while the outdoor access points also need to be weather protected. The hardware should integrate the traditional core functions within the same platform while enhancing subscriber management, monitoring, automation, security, portal management, and more.
A 5G network can access through a variety of devices including laptops, mobiles, tablets, sensors, IoT, and more as technology progresses. Every device thus on the network should be made compatible with cellular wireless through proper network configuration services. These devices should be based on the brand requirements, device types, and use cases for the region being serviced. Sim cards then can be circulated in the population through traditional means or users may scan a simple QR code to enter the network. These requirements should also be a part of the planning stage.
And the final step for mobile network deployment then is the management part where administrators need to create service levels across their network. This micro-slicing helps improve the enterprise administrators to configure application level thresholds. It helps further to set the error rate, latency, and throughput that goes beyond the traditional policies and enforces the service level objectives. These rules thus help the 5G network to sync the entire enterprise for unified management and provide enhanced predictability. These network policies may map and tagged through DSCP and be applied uniformly across the network or managed area-wise.