5G and the Future of Defense: A Deep Dive into DOD’s Technological Evolution

With the integration of 5G technology, a long-heralded new frontier in military capabilities is finally opening up.

Our latest brief with FedInsider, “Leveraging 5G as a Federal Innovation Enabler,” featuring insights from William McHenry, COL USMCR ( ret.), Senior Engagement Advisor to the Director, DIU, Salvador D’ltri, Chairman, National Spectrum Consortium; our VP of Solution Architecture Dr. Deepak Das; and Chad Jones, Global Government Lead at KPMG, sheds light on how 5G is set to transform the DOD’s operational landscape.

The brief delves into the core of 5G’s impact on the DOD. It underscores the transformation from traditional communication systems to more dynamic, real-time data processing networks. 5G technology enables the creation of secure, private networks that are essential in various theaters.

This leap in technology facilitates unprecedented data collection from diverse sources such as drones, satellites, and ground sensors, enhancing situational awareness and decision-making capabilities.

One of the standout points in the brief is the DOD’s shift from carrier-based services to a more comprehensive enterprise solution approach with 5G. This move signifies a strategic pivot in the way military communications and data processing are handled, emphasizing speed, efficiency, and security.

The brief highlights how 5G technology aligns with the DOD’s zero-trust security framework. By integrating identity-based access, it ensures a more secure and controlled data environment, crucial for military operations.

In addition to these strategic shifts, the brief covers practical applications of 5G within the DOD. For instance, the use of smart warehouses by the Marine Corps showcases how 5G can revolutionize logistics and supply chain management in military contexts.

The role of prototyping and sandboxing in advancing 5G technologies for the military is also a focal point. These practices are not just about testing new technologies but are instrumental in paving the way for future innovations and applications in military operations.

Read the full brief here: Leveraging 5G as a Federal Innovation Enabler

The Future of Spectrum Sharing: Insights from the New America Panels

Yesterday, the New America Foundation held an insightful event exploring the future of spectrum sharing and how frameworks like the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) are promoting innovation.

Michael Calabrese, Director, Wireless Future/New America, provided an update on CBRS adoption. There are now over 128,000 active CBSD radios and Priority Access Licenses grew 17% each month in 2022. While still early, progress has been promising so far. Calabrese emphasized the CBRS rules are dynamic, not static. He encouraged stakeholders to provide feedback to the NTIA to evolve CBRS over time.

Jason Wallin from John Deere discussed deploying private 5G using CBRS to support their Industry 4.0 transformation. With 20x more connected devices in facilities starting in 2019, they realized quickly that private cellular and CBRS would be crucial, especially for rural locations. Now private 5G is standard for any new North American facility. 80% of connections rely on private cellular due to IoT demands. They use neutral host networks to avoid needing DAS in each facility.

Vardahn Chaudhry from JBG Smith highlighted investments in fiber and CBRS to power smart cities. In February, Federated Wireless announced an expanded partnership with JBG Smith to innovate and deploy private 5G networks at National Landing. As part of JBG Smith’s $25.3 million investment in the CBRS spectrum, Federated and JBG are collaborating to develop a converged digital infrastructure platform to deliver advanced connectivity across National Landing.

JBG is building a dark fiber network across neighborhoods instead of individual buildings to stimulate growth. This anchors a carrier-neutral data center to serve businesses. JBG is focused on evangelizing CBRS in urban areas and testing sub-leasing Priority Access Licenses.

Federated Wireless joined as a foundational service provider on the platform to offer private wireless solutions at scale for a range of industries located in the area. JBG and Federated will also create an interoperable 5G private network showcase leveraging AWS to demonstrate next-gen technologies like IoT, AI, robotics, and more.

As part of this initiative, Federated Wireless will relocate its headquarters to National Landing, occupying 36,000 square feet of office space in one of JBG Smith’s buildings. This partnership highlights the momentum behind private 5G powered by shared spectrum and innovative collaboration between companies like Federated Wireless and JBG Smith.

Philip Neufeld from Fresno Unified School District discussed discovering 50% of students lacked adequate connectivity. They have extended access by bringing fiber backhaul into neighborhoods and deploying LTE networks using CBRS spectrum. This helps close the digital divide resulting from decades of disinvestment in broadband.

Federated Wireless Vice President of Legal Advocacy Jennifer McCarthy, who moderated one panel and participated in another, touched on how new technologies that enable more advanced dynamic spectrum sharing will only increase in importance as demand grows.

McCarthy’s insights highlighted how Federated Wireless has played a leading role in making CBRS a reality. The company’s Spectrum Controller is key for enabling enterprises and other organizations to take advantage of shared spectrum through CBRS. Federated Wireless continues to innovate in this area to expand access to spectrum, fuel innovation, and power the next generation of wireless connectivity.

`The New America Foundation event demonstrated the growing momentum behind shared spectrum models like CBRS. Jennifer McCarthy’s participation showcased Federated Wireless’ critical involvement in developing groundbreaking approaches to spectrum management that balance the needs of all stakeholders. As more organizations realize the benefits unlocked by CBRS, McCarthy and Federated Wireless will continue leading the way.

The event illustrated the momentum behind CBRS and Federated Wireless’ critical involvement in enabling spectrum sharing to expand 5G connectivity.

Discover our CBRS Spectrum Controller. 

Power of best-in-class partnerships on display at Cal Poly 5G ribbon-cutting

While Federated Wireless’s partnership with T-Mobile and AWS was front and center at Cal Poly’s converged 4G/5G wireless network ribbon-cutting on May 25, the full ecosystem of partners powering the innovative network went far beyond what met the naked eye.

In fact, other major stars of the show were firmly fixed behind the scenes of Cal Poly’s private wireless network with Neutral Host 2.0™ for carrier extension, which operates in the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) band and uses a communication hub running on AWS Snowball Edge device to support private connectivity services provided by the university and connectivity for T-Mobile subscribers.

A unique, best-in-class network comprised of multiple layers of services intended to deliver the most data-intensive, cutting-edge use cases demands best-in-class, innovative hardware and software providers to support and manage it.

Core network provider Druid, a global leader in specialized core network software, provided the 4G/5G packet core and neutral host gateway that sit at the heart of the converged solution. Complementing it, Airspan CBRS radios were carefully chosen due to their versatility in supporting both 4G and 5G networks. With their scalability, interoperability, and adaptability to both indoor and outdoor settings, the radios ensure seamless connectivity across all areas of Cal Poly’s campus.

Out front at the ribbon-cutting were a number of cutting-edge demonstrations running on Cal Poly’s supercharged network. GPS-enabled, battery-free IoT Pixel tags and sensors produced by the innovative IoT platform provider Wiliot were being used to show next-generation asset tracking and temperature monitoring in real time.

Wiliot’s IoT Pixels enable every object to become intelligent. By integrating machine learning and artificial intelligence in the cloud, the Wiliot Platform provides advanced sensing capabilities such as temperature and location. The Pixels wirelessly connect objects to the Internet using a network of Bluetooth-enabled devices such as smartphones and access points.

Cal Poly students demonstrated the cutting-edge augmented reality (AR) work instruction software Taqtile, which enables immersive, interactive AR experiences that support hands-on learning.

Donning Magic Leap AR headsets and wielding Magic Leap controllers, students illustrated how Taqtile combines AR technology with intelligent software solutions to deliver dynamic work instructions in real time. By overlaying digital information onto the physical world, Taqtile enabled students to receive step-by-step guidance, contextual information, and visual cues directly in their field of view.

The AR-driven approach to work instruction software empowers students to perform complex tasks with greater accuracy and speed while participating in hands-on learning. Taqtile is also empowering Cal Poly’s teaching teams, by providing robust analytics and reporting capabilities that enable detailed insights into user interactions, completion rates, task durations, and other proficiency indicators.

The result of the robust ecosystem of partners that converged to create Cal Poly’s innovative new network? Use cases that are as innovative and broadly applicable as they come.

To provide enhanced connectivity and safety across campus, T-Mobile service can be accessed using the 4G neutral host over CBRS to enhance the coverage experience in places where it’s hard for the cell signal to reach, including indoor areas like Cal Poly’s state-of-the-art William and Linda Frost Center for Research and Innovation building and remote outdoor areas like the Poly Canyon hiking trails. This coverage ensures that students have mobile connectivity and can make a 911 call if needed.

Students can now easily self-provision their mobile devices with an embedded subscriber identity model (eSIM) to stream class videos and use data-intensive applications through unmetered broadband over the private wireless network.

Advanced 5G innovation and research is enabled with high-speed, ultra-low-latency 5G connectivity on Cal Poly’s private wireless network. This connectivity is what made it possible for students to run the Taqtile software they demonstrated at the event.

The partner ecosystem responsible for delivering Cal Poly’s powerful new network represents far more than “just” the convergence of interoperable technologies. It represents the future of what is possible when leaders in higher education bring industry partners to the table to deliver on a shared vision.

Read the press release.

From the AWS Studio at MWC Barcelona 2023: Unlocking the Value of the Edge from Development to Deployment

Over the last 17 years, the cloud became the essential tool for businesses. AWS has been leading this charge in delivering cloud value propositions to traditional IT customers, providing cost efficiencies, agility, scale, security, and reliability to those who use it.

As technology advances, the need for an enterprise edge-to-cloud continuum becomes increasingly important. The edge is a constantly redefined space, and there is a growing need not just to go from cloud to edge, but also from the edge to the cloud, to take advantage of the cloud value proposition for applications and workloads that live on the edge.

At Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2023, cloud innovation experts Andy King and John Tomik of the Slalom Element Lab, Federated Wireless CEO Iyad Tarazi, and Debika Bhattacharya, Chief Product Officer of Verizon Business, joined Wayne Duso, AWS Vice President of Engineering and Product, for a discussion of how their respective customers are finding ways to unlock the value of edge-to-cloud continuum, particularly in accelerating their monetization.

The panelists discussed how their customers are generating a tremendous amount of data at the edge and the need for the ability to process it there, along with connectivity at the edge and back to the cloud.

The intersection of 5G, edge computing, and cloud services

The emergence of 5G technology opened new opportunities for businesses to develop innovative solutions and streamline their operations. The combination of 5G, edge computing, and cloud services provides a powerful toolset for companies to improve their efficiency and productivity.

Federated CEO Iyad Tarazi provided the example of how Cal Poly University is solving the issue of students consuming 20 times more data today than when the Wi-Fi network was originally built by deploying a private 5G network from Federated Wireless that leverages AWS’s edge computing capabilities.

Another strong Federated Wireless example? The deployment of a warehouse application for the Department of Defense. The application was able to automate an entire million-square-foot Marine Corps logistics warehouse, reducing the complexity and resources needed to operate the site. This was made possible using robotics and edge computing connected by a private 5G network, with all the data being logged on-site.

The panelists agreed: the real value of these technologies comes from their integration. Applications and data must be able to move seamlessly between the edge and the cloud. Without the cloud, the edge application is severely limited.

Creativity in unlocking the potential of these technologies is a must. John Tomik, Slalom’s Managing Director, described a project with a water utility on the West Coast, which involved remote inspections of water treatment facilities where there was little to no connectivity, and the use of augmented reality devices and training solutions to troubleshoot issues in real-time.

The key lessons for business looking to leverage the edge-to-cloud continuum to its fullest potential?

  • Deliver value: Identify the problems that need to be solved and let the use case drive the solutioning.
  • Be practical: Determine the necessary infrastructure to serve one edge use case and build from there.
  • Creativity first: Identify new use cases that may not have been possible before. The value unlocked there will inform other innovative use cases.

By focusing on delivering value, integrating these technologies, and being creative in their approach, businesses can unlock the full potential of these technologies and create new opportunities for growth and innovation.

Achieve big by starting small

According to Andy King, Slalom’s Director of Global IoT, many customers have a big vision, but prefer to start small with a micro-experiment. This allows them to identify the use case and KPIs that will benefit their business, and often leads to a micro-pivot from the original idea.

By setting up a cloud infrastructure using AWS services like Greengrass, Greengrass Core, and IoT Core, customers can demonstrate how the data will flow and how it can be processed at the edge. This allows for further analysis in the cloud and the ability to scale horizontally.

Iyad Tarazi shared his enthusiasm for the Snow family, which is ideal for customers who want to start right away with one application and grow from there. In his experience, many customers already know what they want to do, they just don’t know how to go about it. By starting small and fully connecting to the rest of the Amazon experience, engineers can quickly find out how far their applications can go.

Verizon’s Debika Bhattacharya highlighted the advancements made in networking over the past few years. Historically, networking was very component and circuit-based, but now it’s a service that customers can flex up and down as needed. By building programmable networks, applications can talk directly and the network can adapt to what’s needed. These new aspects of networking have been influenced by the cloud industry and make it easy, dynamic, and intuitive for users and applications.

Bottom line?

AWS services and a “think big, start small” mentality can help customers achieve their goals by setting up the infrastructure, running micro-experiments, and demonstrating how data will flow and be processed. The cloud computing paradigm is about accelerating innovation and providing customers with the services they need to achieve their goals.

Want to learn more about the future of connectivity at the edge? Discover how Federated Wireless is leveraging AWS services and cloud infrastructure to make the impossible possible for enterprises across industry sectors by watching our latest webinars, here.

From the AWS Studio at MWC Barcelona 2023: Private Wireless Networks of the Future

Nothing beats bringing together the brightest minds in cloud networking and observability for a conversation about the future of private wireless.

At Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2023, our Chief Technology Officer, Kurt Schaubach, and our Chief Development Officer, Sepehr Mehrabanzad, joined AWS executives Nandini Ramani, who leads Monitoring and Observability, and Chris McKenna, head of business development for private networks, for a conversation focused on how private wireless is shaping the future of connectivity.

From discussion of the benefits of using a shared spectrum-based solution to the new Integrated Private Wireless on AWS program to how observability enhances private wireless, the business value made possible through private wireless was front and center.

We compiled the top takeaways, here.


Shared spectrum benefits 4G/LTE and 5G private wireless networks

Private networks put the power of connectivity into the hands of the enterprise. Shared spectrum underpins that capability by creating a very open ecosystem model that makes it easy to deploy a private 5G network to meet enterprise needs. As an AWS Independent Software Vendor (ISV) Accelerate Partner, Federated Wireless helps customers with the design, deployment, and operation of those networks.

Federated Wireless runs all its capabilities on AWS infrastructure. This unique networking option for enterprises improves the quality of connectivity and moves the cost of the network into the full control of the enterprise. Shared spectrum is the key enabler for that.

It’s getting easier to procure and implement a private wireless solution

As the recent announcement of the Integrated Private Wireless on AWS program indicates, the market’s appetite for a hosted marketplace that simplifies the process of procuring a private wireless solution is strong and growing stronger.

The Integrated Private Wireless on AWS program is specifically designed to help partners build, operate, and scale private wireless by bringing the AWS Edge ecosystem into play.

AWS achieves this by pre-integrating ISVs, like Federated Wireless, for connectivity solutions that are then connected to AWS’s plethora of cloud services, which number over 200 today. Last, AWS brings in its over-the-top application ISVs to complete the picture for a full, end-to-end private wireless solution.

AWS then works with partners like Federated Wireless to deliver the end-to-end solution to the enterprise as a managed service offering, which means that enterprises will soon be able to easily purchase Federated Wireless solutions through the AWS Integrated Private Wireless portal.

Observability and control enhance private wireless operation

 The challenges to full observability and control for complex network providers are three-fold.

  • High-cardinality data: Observability metrics from an increasing number of different devices and end-users. 
  • Multi-vendor ecosystems: Complex private 5G networks are typically multi-vendor. Vendors often come with their own monitoring solutions, making observability more challenging, and not via a single pane of glass.
  • Disparate tools for metrics: Operational metrics, like IT data, and network data have their own tools for observability, so there’s no single view or correlation.

Integrating a high-powered observability tool like Amazon CloudWatch when building a private wireless network from the ground up enables enterprises to do observability at scale. In fact, Amazon CloudWatch emits nine quadrillion metrics events every month.

Private wireless solves for common business problems and industry-specific use cases

Enterprises that have implemented or are exploring implementing a private wireless solution are looking to solve specific business problems. The use cases they are seeking to enable through private wireless tend to be focused on specific industries, resulting in a very verticalized approach to private networks.

Across virtually all industry verticals, consistent themes have arisen around private wireless that are driving the release of marketplaces like Integrated Private Wireless on AWS.

Private Wireless as a Service (PWaaS) from Federated Wireless enables:

  • Avoidance of high CapEx costs: Enterprises are no longer used to high upfront costs for IT. AWS and Federated Wireless partner to build large ecosystem deployments that scale for reduced costs through the PWaaS solution. We’re translating traditional CapEx investments to OpEx ones with our turnkey joint networks.
  • Reduction of complexity: Enterprises do not like high complexity. They do not want to pre-integrate core and radio solutions, and OTT applications. Federated Wireless works with customers to understand their use case and remove complexity by developing templated solutions that include the packet core, RAN, and other necessary components.
  • Time to delivery: Enterprises do not want to wait a year or more to deploy their networks. Federated Wireless is driving velocity in deployment models, made possible through AWS capabilities.

What is the future of private wireless?

It’s fair to say that, through the partnership between Federated Wireless and AWS, that the “easy button” for private wireless, including simplified procurement, deployment, and observability, are all now within reach. The Federated Wireless PWaaS solution is available today, and our listing on AWS’s Integrated Private Wireless is on its way.

Hungry for more predictions? Check out our CEO Iyad Tarazi’s recent MWC ’23 recap.