The Department of Defense (DoD) recently unveiled its 5G Smart Warehouse Network at the Naval Base Coronado, California. The mission of this smart warehouse is to incorporate 5G capabilities for trans-shipments between shore facilities and naval units to streamline operations and drive efficiencies. At the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new warehouse Amanda Toman, Acting Principal Director of 5G-Next G, OUSD (R&E) shared that “The DoD is working to accelerate the development and deployment of 5G-enabled capabilities across many use cases, while ensuring those systems — as well as those of our allies and partners — are robust, protected, and reliable.” Similar to the 5G Smart Warehouse Network, agencies are now working towards deploying 5G through customer and industry partnerships.
While some agencies, like the Department of Defense, have embraced 5G in pursuit of the mission, other agencies are working on identifying their unique use cases to put this innovative technology to work. This was the spirit of the discussion at the recent Federal Mobility Group and ATARC 5G Government Symposium. Kevin Gallo, Director of Technical Account Management at the Office of Enterprise Technology Solutions, General Service Administration, asked the panelists several questions about 5G and its real-world applications and benefits.
Nick Nilan, Director of Federal Civilian Accounts at Verizon, explained that government agencies “are thinking differently about what networks they choose to deploy.” With 5G, there are now several options for bandwidth and spectrum. When making these decisions, Nilan emphasized it comes down to needs, such as propagation, latency, and bandwidth requirements. Through customer and industry partnerships, agencies can innovate to deploy 5G within their networks.
The biggest hurdle to 5G adoption is picking just one use case or application, explained Nilan. “We start ideating on what is a use case for 5G and what providers can bring to the table from their infrastructure knowledge of networks and prior customer applications.” Then, agencies can decide at what level they should deploy 5G with the 5G performance characteristics they need and what will be going over the network. The goal is to look at the agency’s network holistically and come together to decide on the best solution, explained Nilan.
One of the biggest advantages for all agencies, but particularly for the Defense and Intelligence Community is that 5G is potentially more secure, said Nilan. 5G networks support a Zero Trust approach by facilitating micro-segmentation and enabling granular access – or denial.
5G technology is ready to be deployed across the federal government with use case applicability from telemedicine, smart warehouses, to advanced augmented reality and virtual reality applications. When working in partnership with 5G technology pioneers, agencies are well positioned to take advantage of this innovative technology to support not just their use cases, but also their larger mission goals.
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