The concept of software radio was proposed in the late 1980’s and received vast interest in the early ’90s. However the lack of processing power and high speed analog-to-digital converters has very much limited the inception of the software radio in place of the traditional baseband processing approach. With the transition to 3rd generation (3G) mobile systems and the availability of advanced Digital Signal Processors and high-speed A/D devices, the use of software radio for wideband processing, multi-mode flexible receivers is now highly desirable. However, there are still significant challenges in designing such a receiver. This paper studies the challenges that lie in the way to a truly Software Radio approach to designing and implementing the GSM mobile cellular receiver. The implemented system consists of a configurable front-end architecture using a FPGA together with a Digital Signal Processor. Issues pertaining to the A/D requirement, complexity of the front-end signal processing elements and performance of the overall system are discussed.