Why is it so hard?

There are many different skills and disciplines and layers within DSP and physical layer. There are very few engineers with a good knowledge of all the layers. The multi-layer design begins with the theoretical guys. They define the performance boundaries and show us the best case scenarios. The gurus pick the modulation and coding scheme optimized for our applications. If you were building a house, this stage is like finding a right location as far as taxes, zoning, flood, etc. For a given channel, the gurus tell us what we can achieve in terms of bit error rate. These folks dont necessarily know how to architect or build anything!

Next we have the system level designer. This guy is the architect. He has the blueprint and knows what the building will look like. Then we have the implementation folks - the builder and the construction crew.

Finally the inspectors - the testers that handle performance measurement, software and hardware channel simulation, etc.

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