5G, the fifth generation of wireless networking, shook the communications world when it was deployed in 2019. With increased bandwidth, faster speeds and lower latency, 5G opened a new world of connectivity across a wide range of mission areas for the federal government.
Now, the intelligence community is eyeing 5G capabilities, and industry leaders predict that the IC is getting closer to adopting the next-generation wireless technology or its future iterations.
“In the intelligence community, they’re really looking carefully at 5G; they’ve been actively seeking advice and education about how 5G networking can actually benefit their mission,” said Jill Singer, vice president of defense and national security for AT&T Public Sector and FirstNet, in a recent video interview with Executive Mosaic.
However, the IC is unique and has different needs than other federal agencies due to the highly sensitive nature of their work. “They have several concerns with wireless technologies in general, and 5G is no exception to their concerns,” mentioned Singer, a six-time Wash100 Award winner. “We have to be able to solve their concerns and prove on the security aspects that we say are there.”
In response to these needs, the IC is expressing increased interest in private 5G networks over public commercial ones. “We believe that private 5G could give the agency enhanced control and security while allowing their users a higher performing wireless experience,” Singer explained.