GDIT-led coalition working to push 5G rollout across government | Jobs Reply

A group of leading technology companies has partnered with Falls Church, Virginia-based contractor General Dynamics Information Technology to form an industry coalition focused on accelerating the adoption and adoption of 5G and edge technologies across the federal government.

The 5G and Edge Accelerator Coalition – which launched on November 10 – includes Amazon Web Services, Cisco, Dell Technologies, Splunk and T-Mobile. The coalition will use GDIT’s Advanced Wireless Emerging Lab to test and develop 5G and edge computing technologies for federal agencies. GDIT said in a press release that it will focus on 5G and edge solutions in a variety of government sectors, including “military, logistics and supply chain, healthcare, education and smart infrastructure.”

“5G is so new that everyone is releasing a 5G product,” said Shuaib Porjosh, Director for Advanced Wireless at GDIT next gov. “And what we’ve found in testing is that not everything sold as 5G is actually 5G. So the lab really helped us sort through those other parts.”

Robert Smallwood, vice president of digital modernization and enterprise IT at GDIT, said next gov that the breadth of companies in the coalition “allows us to better address the multiple use cases” in the government environment that the coalition is now actively working on.

“One of our engagements was with a civilian federal agency that has five, six, maybe even more use cases where 5G could assist them in their area — everything from predictive vehicle maintenance to the factory of the future,” Smallwood said. “So we got our team together and said, ‘What are they doing, where are their heads in terms of 5G?’ And we worked together to come up with some potential ideas that we thought would appeal to them.”

Federal agencies are already looking at ways to bolster their technology-related capabilities by increasing their reliance on 5G services. Last month, GDIT released the results of a survey of government employees, which found that 89% of respondents “already study or use commercial or private 5G skills in their agency”.

Smallwood said the survey results underscored that federal agencies’ focus right now, from a use case perspective, is “putting bandwidth and connectivity where it needs to be right.”

As most federal sectors explore the use of 5G capabilities, the Pentagon is taking prominent leadership in using 5G services to underpin its Joint All-Domain Command and Control, or JADC2, effort to drive interoperability among all military services. Smallwood called this type of improved device-to-device connectivity a “game changer” for the defense sector.

“The idea that you can take data from any number of devices, sensors or devices running at the edge, do some analysis of that information, and then share that information — without it all the way back to a data center or to a cloud.” environment – really helps provide that real-time situational awareness,” he added.

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