Booz Allen Hamilton has opened a new 5G lab in Annapolis Junction, Maryland, to support mission-critical client work that is based on 5G integration and deployment. The lab’s secure test environment features a leading-edge 5G Standalone (SA) carrier-grade network, including a SA mobile core, Radio Access Network (RAN), and mobile edge compute enabling multiband testing across devices and enhanced research and development capabilities.
Combined with Booz Allen’s cloud, network, and security expertise, the premiere 5G lab facility delivers a testbed for cyber resiliency, artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) modeling, and integrated internet-of-things (IoT), immersive, and emerging applications development.
“Both the public and private sector are grappling with 5G, and the initial promises of higher data rates, lower latency, increased capacity, and resulting technology applications have quickly shifted the concern to the underlying security risks. The same technology that improves operations can create new vulnerabilities that impede operations,” said Chris Christou, vice president at Booz Allen and leader of the firm’s 5G portfolio. “This complex balance between operability and security is exactly why Booz Allen invested in a testing environment that allows us to research and develop new 5G-enabled platforms and lead customers’ ongoing adoption of new technologies and capabilities while keeping them secure.”
Booz Allen’s 5G Lab is built on a holistic 5G security approach that supports various enterprise missions and clients, including capabilities to:
- Plan – Develop tailored 5G strategies grounded in the identification and prioritization of high mission impact 5G use cases, align plans and resources for use case implementation based on a nuanced understanding of technical readiness, and develop policies and standards for 5G ecosystem operation and management
- Build – Deliver 5G mission platforms and applications by designing secure network architectures, completing network slicing and radio frequency/spectrum engineering, and integrating the full stack of 5G ecosystem technologies
- Protect – Secure mobile networks, edge computing resources, and 5G devices and applications through threat-based identification and management of risks, assessment of 5G-relevant vulnerabilities, and hardening and continuous monitoring of 5G environments
- Research – Pivot differentiated adversary insight and world-class cyber tradecraft into the early identification of novel 5G system vulnerabilities, development of leading-edge countermeasures, and delivery of tailored intelligence analysis
The 5G lab is Booz Allen’s latest investment in this critical technology—rooted in leading-edge innovation and people-first mission understanding.
As a part of the broader $1.7 billion, 5-year Congressional directive “DoD 5G to Next G” campaign to accelerate Department of Defense (DoD) use of 5G and advance U.S. private sector technology maturation, Booz Allen announced in March 2021 that DoD selected the firm, among others, to support 5G integration and testing at five U.S. military locations. The $600 million contract represents the largest full-scale testing done to date for dual-use applications in the world, supporting DoD’s mission to implement full-scale 5G military deployment. As a part of this work, Booz Allen was tapped to prototype for two distinct projects: an AI spectrum sensing application that enables dynamic spectrum sharing for the Air Force’s airborne radar systems and 5G-enabled AR and VR supporting virtual, live military training ranging from an individual soldier to in-field, collaborative training for a full brigade.
Announced this fall, Booz Allen has also joined the Qualcomm Smart Cities Accelerator Program to deploy 5G networks and IoT technologies, supporting the public sector. The program is designed to connect cities, municipalities, government agencies, and enterprises with an ecosystem of providers. Booz Allen serves as a system integrator for program members and creates unique use cases using 5G private networks powered by Qualcomm Technologies with the goal of delivering mission-focused cyber resiliency solutions.
Click here to learn more about how Booz Allen is pioneering comprehensive cyber-secure 5G solutions.