Unlocking the public safety and defence potential of 5G networks

In 2015 we tried to predict the future by asking ourselves what 5G would look like in 2020 and beyond, and we predicted that there would be a demand for capacity, increased download and upload speeds, and a better overall experience.

Now that we are here with 5G at our fingertips, there is much more to it than anticipated.

Not only is it faster and stronger, it is more in demand than ever before. As well as greatly improving network connectivity, 5G has opened up exciting opportunities for a huge range of use cases. Crucially, 5G infrastructure is much more than just a mobile connectivity service, it is a communication ecosystem that will provide fibre-like speeds to a range of industries. Smart cities, video streaming, telemedicine, have all been covered in detail, but what about other increasingly complex and technical industry applications?

Take 5G mmWave for instance, that enhances capability, with low latency and multi-gigabit throughput giving faster more reliable communications, better network intelligence and better insight. Think about how that could be used in a defence environment (tactical communication).

Studies show that a wireless LAN or a wireless link that is high capacity, covert and secure, has the potential to be more resistant to external jamming and hacking. No network is completely untouchable, as hackers are just as good at keeping up with the latest technology, but operating at 57 – 71 GHz provides the opportunity to adaptively tune the covertness and vulnerability of the network with narrow beams and beamforming features making it useful for a number of wireless defence applications.

A new generation of intelligent technology

5G is a catalyst for the development of other kinds of defence technology too, such as robotics, artificial intelligence, and one we are already familiar with, satellites.

High Altitude Pseudo Satellites (HAPS) are designed to carry surveillance cameras or base station support for public safety applications. Deployed from a base and then travelling above the weather, these HAPS aircraft can provide communications support, in disaster areas to ensure the safety of citizens, or remote locations, by providing a cellular base station in the sky.

These unmanned, solar panel powered, flying machines seek out and share visual information. They can provide high bandwidth video networks to areas where the coverage is sparse and can be deployed and recalled at the click of a button if any threats come up. They do of course require a strong, fast network connection in the form of 5G mmWave, that provides the advantage of highly power efficient, low latency protocols.

Prioritising safety and security

Bringing 5G back down to ground level, it is important also to think about what it can do for ongoing counterterrorism efforts as it enhances data processing and makes every second matter. We are in an era of great power competition, particularly between the world superpowers, so we also face new threats. In this time, we can guarantee there will be an effort by cyber criminals and terrorists to intercept confidential data, and they will be doing their best to harness new innovations for their own agenda.

If we ensure that 5G mmWave is used for good and do our best to keep it out of the wrong hands, the opportunities for defence purposes are endless.

Once 5G is both accessible and affordable for broad adoption in defence infrastructure it can drive the delivery of mission-critical information, benefitting both the security services and citizens. The flow of information will help with counterterrorism efforts, faster investigations, threat reporting and the suppression of suspicious activity.

If you’re interested in learning more about this transformative technology and how our mmWave offering can be applied to your connectivity needs, get in touch with us today.