While still in the early stages of adoption, 5G technology use cases are growing across the public sector, because of benefits such as high bandwidth and low latency. While 4G LTE is still used as a backbone, 5G is already helping transform federal agencies from smartphone connectivity to broadband internet access, said Bryan Schromsky, Verizon’s Managing Partner, 5G Public Sector.
Recently, Major General Matthew Easley, Director of Cybersecurity, Office of the Army Chief Information Officer, U.S. Army; Dwayne Florenzie, Senior Strategy Executive, Office of Commercial & Economic Analysis, U.S. Air Force; Dan Dagher, Supply Chain Risk Management Initiative Lead, National Risk Management Center, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA); Bryan Schromsky, Managing Partner, 5G Public Sector, Verizon; Bryan Wenger, 5G Solutions Architect, Palo Alto Networks, and Bryan Kennedy, Director, Wireless Solutions, CommScope, met to discuss how 5G technology is benefiting their agencies.
Major General Easley, Director of Cybersecurity, Office of the Army Chief Information Officer with the Army, commented on how 5G was helping aid in the achievement of the Army’s modernization priorities. These initiatives include innovating “synthetic training environments and integrating visual augmentation systems to help train our next generation of soldiers.” 5G is at the forefront of developing these initiatives by providing the bandwidth that is necessary to support augmented reality functions.
In the future, there is a need to “dynamically switch between a military provider network and a commercial network,” said Major General Easley, and 5G is helping to find the best route for data to be sent through the systems. This will help soldiers connect to networks when needed, from virtually any location.
U.S. Air Force
For the Air Force, Dwayne Florenzie, Senior Strategy Executive, Office of Commercial & Economic Analysis, mentioned that Tyndall Air Force Base is working on “optimizing the flight line and maintenance, especially for capturing the data ahead of time from an aircraft.” For example, autonomous vehicles will be able to transport parts, control inventory, and initiate preventative maintenance. Florenzie commented that 5G will help disparate capabilities to function together to deliver on the mission.
Although 5G is dynamic and will introduce exciting, new capabilities, it is also increasing the attack surface for malicious actors, said Dan Dagher, Supply Chain Risk Management Initiative Lead, National Risk Management Center, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). CISA is continually intaking and analyzing information to bolster cybersecurity. Dagher noted that there will be increased adoption of Zero Trust architecture as agencies work to secure 5G.
In the future, 5G will provide immersive experiences, such as “bringing edge computing for the next generation warfighter, immersive training, and improving smart warehouses,” commented Schromsky. While 5G is in the early stages of adoption, there will be many more possibilities for future innovations that will help agencies deliver on their missions.
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