This is an interview with several subject matter experts who can demonstrate how 5G will be a game-changer for the military. Most of the publicity for 5G involves stories about autonomous vehicles – nobody is talking about how 5G can improve the effectiveness of the warfighter.
The group discussion begins with defining the characteristics of 5G, then highlighting how the federal government is applying this new technology to solve specific military problems.
As the name implies, “5” G is the fifth in a series of improvements in broadband cellular networks. This numerical increase can lead one to believe that 5G is just a bigger pipe. Although it can increase speed by a factor of 100, this is just one aspect of 5G. 5G provides improved cybersecurity, segmentation, and the ability to set up “umbrellas” of small high-speed networks that can assist the soldier on the ground.
Kurt Jacobs, Director, Solutions, JMA Wireless details how 5G allows most of the functionality to happen as software. This capability means that existing security regimens and concepts like zero trust can be applied because there are known ways of doing the security.
Dr. Jeff Kleck, Director, Cyber Portfolio, Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) is in the position to look at commercial technology to see how it can be applied to military needs. He says that the transition from 4G to 5G is not just improving wired connections; it is replacing wires.
Further, he says, 5G is, essentially, a virtual network that can be described as a software-defined network. In a traditional network, there would be hardware involved to set up temporary nodes for communication. This “software-defined” aspect of 5G gives the military the ability to set up, on the fly, an umbrella network that will give high speed as well as secure communication.
Robert Chung, Senior Consultant, Telecom Systems Business, Dell Technologies expands on this idea. 5G gives the DoD the ability to create individual private networks. The parallel he draws is between today’s public cloud and the private cloud. This concept of private mobility allows the DoD to manage its most important asset, data.