Booz Allen opens 5G R&D lab in Maryland

Booz Allen Hamilton shows dedication to 5G development for public and private sector customers with its foundation of a new facility designed to advance research and deployment of next-generation networking technology.
Written by Michael Gariffo, Staff Writer

Booz Allen Hamilton revealed a major expansion of its 5G research capabilities with the launch of a new development lab in Annapolis Junction, Maryland.

The facility will be tasked with furthering Booz's exploration of 5G integration and deployment for both public and private customers. On-site capabilities include a 5G Standalone (SA) carrier-grade network, a SA mobile core, and Radio Access Network (RAN) hardware, as well support for edge computing multi-band testing.

Booz Allen plans to combine the lab's assets with its existing cloud, network, and security offerings to provide a "testbed for cyber resiliency, artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) modeling, and integrated internet-of-things (IoT), immersive, and emerging applications development."

The strategy at the Maryland facility includes helping customers plan for 5G technical readiness, focusing on the creation of specific use cases for real-world implementation while also accounting for technological readiness and developing network policies.

The lab hopes to parlay these developments into designing and building secure 5G network architectures. Booz Allen believes its assets will support the development of radiofrequency and spectrum engineering as well as the full stack development of 5G ecosystem technologies.

Security will be integrated into all developments from the ground up, Booz promised. Threat-based identification and management of risks, consistent 5G vulnerability assessments, and network hardening measures are all expected to be intrinsic to the facility's research priorities. Over the long term, Booz also plans to expand security research into novel 5G system vulnerabilities, new countermeasures, and tailored intelligence analysis.

The company noted the foundation of the lab was made possible, in part, by its participation in the 5-year, $1.7 billion congressional "DOD 5G to Next G" directive. The federal campaign is an effort to fund advancements in 5G private sector technology maturation. The firm expects the lab's assets to help with its fulfillment of the contract's goal of enabling full-scale 5G military deployment. Booz's ongoing projects funded under the same DOD purchasing facility include the development of an AI spectrum sensing application for Air Force radar systems and a 5G-enabled AR and VR military training range, among others.

This announcement also comes shortly after Booz Allen joined Qualcomm's Smart Cities Accelerator Program, an effort to deploy 5G technologies in support of public sector entities. Since joining, it has served as a system integrator for other program members, creating unique 5G use cases for specific requirements, Booz Allen noted. 

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