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How Government IT Teams Can Prepare for 5G

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For the last several years, there’s been a lot of buzz around 5G—the 5th generation mobile network designed to connect virtually every person, every organization and every “thing” together, including machines and devices. And with good reason. 5G powers significant new capabilities on both core networks and end-devices. Some examples include highly accurate location sensing to allow vehicular control of mobile platforms like drone management; private networking bubbles around a facility to enable more complete and lower cost coverage for wireless devices; and ubiquitous coverage for smart IoT devices such as wireless government furnished equipment inventory trackers or biometric identity verification and security scanners.

While not all of these new capabilities are available today, many are – which means government agencies at all levels can begin to reap the benefits of 5G sooner rather than later. Plus, since 5G is inevitable as technology evolves and older protocols become less supported, every organization should plan for a smooth transition. Here are four steps your agency can take today to gain 5G benefits now and be well-positioned for all it has to offer going forward:

  1. Consider a Hardware Refresh – If you are preparing for a hardware refresh in the next 12 months, consider whether you expect to need 5G within the next 2 to 3 years. If you do, now may be the time to add 5G equipment to your procurement plans. To prepare your organization for 5G, assess existing hardware and devices to determine which need upgrading. Then monitor supplier offerings in the coming year or include specific capabilities in your contract requirements.

  2. Explore Potential New Capabilities – 5G is unique in that it is made up of core and edge services delivered by three different radio bands: a low-band designed for broad coverage areas, a mid-band that delivers higher capacity, and high-band that provides the gigabit high-capacity the 5G ads talk about. Each layer is best suited for certain applications. For example, at the low-band coverage layer, you may see small sites using wireless to connect their primary networks, or communities using it for mobile and fixed public safety applications. The mid-band layer is ideal for immersive mobile applications and HD streaming. At the high-capacity layer, you may see wireless robotics and AI-video recognition. Learning what’s possible will enable your agency to envision its future.

  3. Determine Use Cases and Timelines – By understanding 5G capabilities, you can identify which innovations and deployments might benefit your organization. For example, you may want to eliminate fixed networking at branches or facilities; or consider 5G indoor coverage when designing new buildings. Since most 5G features will roll out nationwide in 2022, this the perfect time for ideation and planning to decide how 5G can improve connectivity and operations.

  4. Conduct a Pilot with Help from Hughes – Hughes is the first Managed Services Provider to bring 5G solutions to market, working with the major carriers and several platform vendors to do so. We can also help plan and implement 5G pilots to enable agencies like yours to test options and approaches.

Learn more about how Hughes can ready your operations for tomorrow’s 5G environment.