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Center for Edge Computing and 5G

Coalition Seeks to Expand US Government Use of 5G and Edge

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Government Use of 5G and Edge

The group will identify use cases, develop prototypes, and customize solutions that will make it faster, easier, and more cost effective for government agencies to deploy 5G, advanced wireless, and edge capabilities.

Several industry heavyweights announced they have banded together to improve U.S. government agency efficiency with 5G and edge technologies. The coalition includes General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT), a business unit of General Dynamics; Amazon Web Services (AWS); Cisco; Dell Technologies; Splunk; and T-Mobile.

A recent survey of 500 government managers finds close to nine in ten federal agencies are planning to adopt 5G. But agencies also face several challenges, including budget and cybersecurity concerns. The survey of civilian, defense, and intelligence agencies released by GDIT finds most federal agencies have begun their 5G journeys and understand its impact. The survey found that 89% are planning to adopt 5G, with 44% already piloting or deploying 5G.

As agencies establish 5G mission objectives, 23% expect that 5G will be highly impactful to their strategies in 2023, with that impact tripling within five years to 69%. More than half are making 5G an investment priority in 2023.

The research found that federal agencies plan to use 5G in two general categories: networking and connectivity and mission-enabling applications. More than three-fourths (77%) say they planned to adopt 5G technology for improved network capability. Platform connectivity – connecting internet of things (IoT) devices to the enterprise – is second at 61%. Smart infrastructure – enabling intelligent decisions at the edge – ranks third at 50%.

See also: US Government Launches Digital Corps

Over the long term, agencies are planning mission-enablement use cases. Command and control – taking an action quickly with low-latency data processing – ranks at the top (41%). Logistics and manufacturing – managing supply chain processes – is second at 28%.

The data also showed that agencies are anticipating myriad challenges with implementing and managing 5G technology. More than nine in ten, 91%, cite costs and budget as a top concern.

87% are concerned about increased cybersecurity risks due to an expanded attack surface from more remote devices. Another 83% identify integrating 5G capabilities into the rest of the organization as a challenge.

While budget remains a concern, agencies are starting to make 5G a priority. Overall, 58% say 5G will be an investment priority in the next 12 months, with that number growing to 79% in the next three years.

The GDIT 5G and Edge Accelerator Coalition is collaborating with government agencies by leveraging GDIT’s Advanced Wireless Emerge Lab to identify use cases and develop prototypes and customizable solutions that will make it faster, easier and more cost effective to deploy 5G, advanced wireless and edge capabilities.

GDIT will design, deploy and maintain secure end-to-end 5G solutions, and the coalition will leverage AWS to provide cloud infrastructure to connect edge devices to cloud services; Cisco will provide 5G core and mobile edge computing capabilities; Dell Technologies will provide open infrastructure and edge operations software, artificial intelligence-enhanced edge devices and sensors; Splunk will provide cybersecurity automation and edge computing capabilities; and T-Mobile will provide network bandwidth, expertise, and advanced industry solutions to address large use cases such as smart infrastructure.

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About Joe McKendrick

Joe McKendrick is RTInsights Industry Editor. He is a regular contributor to Forbes on digital, cloud and Big Data topics. He served on the organizing committee for the recent IEEE International Conference on Edge Computing (full bio). Follow him on Twitter @joemckendrick.

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