INTERVIEW: Dr. Tom Rondeau, Principal Director for FutureG & 5G in the US Department of Defence (DoD), highlighted that the reliability and resilience of 5G networks were key components for military branches to have ‘decision superiority’ on battlefields.

Rondeau stated the advantages of implementing 5G were two-fold. The first is the DoD can tailor the quality of service to overcome every problem set across its military branches.

“Every platform that we have has a very unique set of properties,” he explained. “The software-defined nature of 5G has really turned the corner for us as to why this technology is now ripe and applicable to the DoD.”

The second factor is the DoD can stand on the shoulders of the work the mobile industry has already completed for 5G networks. Rondeau noted the DoD benefits from commercial 5G use cases for “safety of life” applications and services such as remote medicine, remote surgery and autonomous vehicles.

“The commercial industry is paying way more attention to security than they ever have and we get to inherit all of that,” he said.

He noted working with mobile operators on cyber vulnerabilities in their networks was very applicable to the DoD’s heightened sense of security.

Rondeau stated the DoD has been able to add additional security features into its 5G networks to obfuscate traffic to protect users from geolocation and the exploitation of its systems.

“The core technology is proving itself to be quite robust and easily adaptable to our purposes,” he said, while noting the DoD would in turn push any 5G advancements it makes out into the commercial sector.

He stated one of the most promising sectors for 5G was smart warehouses. Speed of action and speed of activity are key factors on any battlefield or even peacetime, both of which rely on logistics chains.

“It’s very hard to track manually,” he stated of warehouse logistics. “With an entire 5G network, we know over 90 per cent of where every piece of inventory in that warehouse is, and we can access it within minutes. That is a game-changer in this logistics challenge we face.”

Click here to watch the full interview, which was held at MWC Las Vegas last month.