The Internet of Things (IoT) is emerging as a primary enabler of the transformation to digital business services in today’s economy. At the same time, 5th Generation (5G) cellular transport technology is emerging as a viable means to support IoT data requirements. Although 5G is still in its infancy, DoD leaders need to understand the impacts that 5G will have on IoT projects as there are several challenges involved with integrating 5G into IoT. In order to achieve the maximum benefits of high bandwidth, low latency and superior performance, an entirely new grid of cell sites and access units must be installed. A second challenge is with malware and intrusion attacks. 5G is an IP-based network technology that will expose 5G connected devices to common IP-based malware and intrusion risks such as denial-of-service (DOS and DDOS) and intrusion attacks. A third challenge is with standardized security and encryption of data from end-devices. The larger challenge with standardization involves interoperability. In order for 5G to work seamlessly across carriers with device agnostic hardware and compatible software, a holistic approach should be considered. Hardware compatibility will determine interoperability between sensors, platforms and gateways. In addition, software compatibility will be governed by 5G standards as well as industry partnerships. 5G standards are currently still being developed. Organizations, including the DoD Chief Information Officer and Government Accountability Office should specifically address implications of 5G cellular technology for IoT-related studies and use cases in the DoD.




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