Civilian and defense agencies lay the groundwork for next-generation communications.
Once a buzzword, 5G has moved into the nascent stages of adoption, piloting and implementation across various industries, including the federal government.
Telecommunications companies began rolling out the infrastructure for 5G, which refers to the fifth-generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks, in 2019, and several agencies already have promising 5G case studies to improve mission delivery. Defense Department officials plan to outfit 12 military bases with 5G technology, with plans to invest as much as $600 million to develop 5G-enabled smart warehouses, augment and virtual reality and radar systems.
Beyond a series of military pilots, the Pentagon has taken a proactive approach to the technology, releasing airwaves for commercial 5G networks and teaming with civilian agencies to tackle potential interoperability issues inherent with the technology.In addition, the Department of Veterans Affairs—which provides health care to tens of millions of veterans—is examining how best to operationalize 5G technology. The department aims to augment several hospitals with 5G capabilities through partnerships with various private sector companies. The technology poses all sorts of potential to improve mission outcomes and government operations, but other agencies—including the Justice Department—are studying how the technology could be detrimental to some groups, including law enforcement.
In this ebook, we discuss these and other ways 5G is already in action across the federal government and the promise the technology holds.