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Welcome to Iron Bow's TechSource, a blog about the issues facing the government and industry today and the technologies being adopted to help overcome them.

5G – Better and Faster!

John Odey, Director, Air Force Business Development, Iron Bow Technologies

November 17, 2020  |  IT Modernization  •  Networking  •  Wireless


5G, once fully available and implemented, will increase the amount of data transmittable over mobile networks by 20-50 fold (meaning it will be possible to use mobile to transmit up to 1 gigabyte of data quickly and easily). 5G is not just about faster data speeds, but it also provides more reliability, lower latency and allows the communication of larger amounts of data from one point to another with expanded-capacity networks. 5G is designed to deliver better mobile services compared to the current 4G network, as well as expanded new service areas such as mission-critical communications and the connecting of the massive Internet of Things (IoT). After all, it doesn’t do much good for users to send or receive 1 GB of data if it takes hours to access or hangs up in the middle of viewing. The improved reliability of 5G also ensures these networks will remain up to transmit these large packets of data seamlessly.

While there is a great amount of consumer excitement over the 5G standard for easier video streaming on the go as well as the promise of more efficient connected devices (such as cars, homes, etc.), there are also huge benefits for the Air Force, Space Force and other Defense agencies to realize. Communications networks have become fundamental to how the United States wages war, providing our forces with real-time data to make decisions, get those decisions to other warfighters and direct our weapons. With the agility, speed and lower latency that 5G will provide, Air and Space Force members can make data-driven decisions in less than half the time, they can move forward with operations with more confidence, and can open up communications to the edge. 5G allows every person involved to be more up-to-date and safer, having “eyes and ears” from all sides.

To realize the promise of 5G, the DoD has three main pillars to consider:

  • Accelerate – create at-scale test facilities that enable rapid experimentation and dual-use application prototyping.
  • Operate – ensure U.S. forces can operate anywhere and everywhere they deploy with resiliency and effectively and securely use commercial 5G networks with dynamic spectrum utilization.
  • Innovate – invest in future “next generation” technologies like 5G to enhance them and realize their full benefits.

One effort underway is building a localized, private, full-scale 5G cellular network with nomadic towers/base stations, specialized network enhancements and industry-standard interfaces. These hosted prototype applications and services aid in Air, Space and Cyberspace lethality while enhancing warfighting survivability. This infrastructure is creating a strengthened cybersecurity posture that supports full utilization of the Internet of Things (IoT), connects massive numbers of devices and sensors, and allows edge processing and new advancements like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality (AR). Implementing these tools can empower the next technical revolution with capabilities like smart warehousing and asset management.

We understand every agency operates differently and has unique ecosystems, even within the Air Force. 5G will enhance the existing ecosystem and Iron Bow is postured to integrate 5G into legacy architectures. Iron Bow brings to bear our decades of expertise in networking, unified communications, data centers, computing, storage and cybersecurity across the federal government. We also understand the full power of 5G and how to best integrate it into DoD solutions to meet mission outcomes.  To complete the spectrum of capabilities, we provide rapid experimentation and dual-use application prototyping, secure mobile device management solutions and infrastructure automation for warfighter operational solutions. For more information on our Iron Bow offerings, visit our website.


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