Part 2: 5 Challenges to consider while preparing for 5G Lawful Interception

Part 2: 5 Challenges to consider while preparing for 5G Lawful Interception

Missed part 1? Read more about modern LI in 5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Modern Lawful Interception Monitoring Center.

The introduction of 5G network technology, places law enforcement and intelligence agencies in a new race against criminals and terrorists, bringing new challenges to lawful interception.

Existing lawful interception (LI) monitoring centers that are not prepared to support 5G and investigation processes are going to suffer a dramatic setback, without appropriate technology solutions for data collection, data analysis and data delivery.

A recent report published by the Europol, discusses future technology and how it shapes crime and law enforcement, including some of the ways 5G network technology will affect law enforcement agencies’ ability to:

  • Identify and locate users and devices
  • Gather and access information, as data is fragmented
  • Access data with devices communicating directly and not through the operator’s core network

In this blog post we review the top 5 challenges law enforcement and intelligence agencies need to address, to ensure the transition to 5G network technology has minimal impact on investigation processes and delivery of evidence.

Lawful interception in the age of 5G networks will require new advanced monitoring solutions that were designed and developed, addressing the following challenges:

  1. High Bandwidth

The introduction of 5G is expected to quite easily exceed the speed of 1 Gbps already in its early stages. There are estimations of the technology eventually reaching speeds of 5-10 Gbps. This means the speed will be 50-100 times faster than standard 4G, and 15-30 times faster than advanced 4G standards like LTE-A.

Dramatic increase in Packet Data bandwidth will create multiple challenges in various components and flows in LI systems including collection, processing, storage, decoding and analysis of intercepted data.

  1. Multiple Architecture and Deployment Options

5G supports multiple architecture and deployment options including various Non-Standalone Architecture (NSA) options, combining simultaneous work with LTE and 5G Radio connected to a single Packet Core (EPC or 5GC) networks, and Standalone Architecture (SA) options based on single Radio and single Packet Core network.

The growing diversity of architecture and deployment options impacts lawful interception options and processes.

  1. 5G Packet Core (5GC)

The new 5G Packet Core (5GC) introduces a set of new network protocols as well as new LI Handover Interfaces (HI) and Vendor LI Interfaces (X), which require adaptations of monitoring centers and lawful interception processes.

  1. Network Function Virtualization (NFV)

The 5GC Packet Core is based on Network Function Virtualization (NFV) architecture and creates multiple challenges for passive and active interception, including interception of inter-host traffic, managing interception for dynamically created VNFs/VNFCs.

Lawful interception processes will have to support this new architecture.

  1. Handover between 5G and 4G

LI systems should properly handle continuous interception of Packet Data sessions during handover between the different Access technologies: 5G, 4G, WiFi, etc., addressing the use of different LI HI/X interfaces applicable to 5G and 5G networks.


Law enforcement and intelligence agencies are urged to be part of the preparation for future crime-fighting technologies, and work closely with standardization committees and global initiatives to ensure their surveillance and tracking capabilities are 5G ready.


Tom Sadon

Author: Tom Sadon

Tom Sadon is a Product Marketing Manager of Network Intelligence and lawful interception solutions at Verint. Tom has vast professional experience and expertise in the Intelligence domain with more than a decade in the Israel Defense Force (IDF), Intelligence Corps and in the Israeli Prime Minister’s office as a SIGINT & Cyber analyst and as a Commander. Tom has also worked as a Cyber threat intelligence and analysis director in an Israeli start-up and is a lawyer, holding L.LB and L.LM law degrees from Tel-Aviv University along with a BA degree in Economics from Tel-Aviv University.