The future of 5G technology is being designed in Central Maryland with the recent opening of a research and development lab in Annapolis Junction from multinational firm Booz Allen Hamilton.
The Anne Arundel County lab is an effort to couple innovations in cybersecurity along with preparing the area for further 5G implementation. It will act a testing ground for Booz Allen’s 5G innovations and client work, such as a $600 million dollar contract with the U.S. Department of Defense to support 5G integration and testing at five U.S. military locations. This opens up the possibility for the area to be a new hub of innovation into 5G, the fifth-generation of cellular network that promises higher data rates, lower latency and more capacity than the 4G mobile network that came before it.
“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, in a statement. “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.”
The lab will feature 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.
Booz Allen is also a member of the Qualcomm Smart Cities Accelerator Program, which focuses on deploying 5G and Internet of Things technology that supports the public sector. The program connects cities, municipalities, government agencies and enterprises to providers, and Booz Allen is a systems integrator for many program members.
Donte Kirby is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.