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CACI Q&A With Senior Vice President Marc Beacken on Staying Ahead of the Competition in the Race for 5G

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CACI engineers and technicians are on the forefront 5G communications research and development, working hand-in-hand with military, civilian, and commercial partners.

5G enabled networks promise great potential to bring disruptive capabilities to both commercial and DoD communications.  Together with opportunities, there are also challenges that 5G deployment brings to the DoD.  These 5G opportunities and challenges demand technical innovation by CACI so that our USG Customer can benefit from the opportunities presented and address the challenges, as well.

5G stresses very high data rates and communications capacity, very low latency and high reliability, and massive machine-to-machine / Internet of Things (IoT) communications. 5G could enable ubiquitous communications worldwide and could alter the landscape for both commercial applications and the warfighter with appropriate application.

In the interview below, CACI Senior Vice President Marc Beacken discusses how our team is helping the U.S. government stay ahead of competitors in the race for this latest communications leap.

If you wish to schedule an interview with Marc, please contact CACI Corporate Communications at [email protected].

Why is the U.S. Government so interested in adopting 5G communications technology?

5G brings unprecedented spectral breadth, communications capacity, low latency, and IoT of scale. The standard is scalable and modular, and can be tailored to specific applications and deployments. Exquisite control of low-level scheduling, network slicing, an ultra-lean power design aesthetic, and advanced application support make 5G extremely attractive to our mission customer in the Defense Department and broader U.S. Government.

Meanwhile, China has invested heavily in 5G technology worldwide through Huawei, ZTE, and other companies. Those investments could potentially give China’s military and intelligence agencies backdoors into global communications networks and operational superiority. Similarly, non-nation-state adversarial actors will soon have access to this affordable, highly- capable commercial technology. The proliferation of 5G technology could blunt communications superiority enjoyed by the USG & DoD, or more problematically, reverse the USG’s tactical advantage.

How is CACI generating new 5G innovations today?

Here at CACI, we’re not standing still. CACI experts recently briefed the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command on the rapidly expanding commercial applications for 5G, defense-related and dual-use cases for 5G, as well as China's use of the technology.

We’re also developing new technologies for the warfighter to effectively leverage 5G networks and technology, paving the way for innovations in the areas of tactical networks, predictive logistics, smart warehousing of scale, new AR/VR capabilities, machine-to-machine, and “vehicles to everything” communications.

For CACI defense and intelligence customers, 5G's ultra-reliable, low latency communications brings opportunities and challenges. Soon, the Defense Department plans to conduct experiments at four different military bases in the United States aimed at integrating commercial 5G technologies into its communications networks.

CACI is already working with government laboratories to integrate the latest cybersecurity features directly into new 5G networks. With 5G networks, the increased diversity of signals from RF space provides resiliency to the operator and better protects the network from cyberattack. Our engineers have designed industry-leading modeling and simulation technology, such as LiveRAN and DeviceFarm, to create high-fidelity models of network and mobile app traffic in virtual, live, and mixed environments.

CACI has also developed novel software-defined, affordable, electronically steerable array (ESA) technology that may be applied to multiple, concurrent mission functions on a common, shared aperture, including enablement of 5G based communications.

What are the next 5G advances we can expect from CACI?

CACI is developing 5G based advanced location services, improved spectrum utilization through spectrum awareness, and dynamic spectrum access needed by our customers.

At CACI, we are always looking to the future, including sixth-generation, or so-called “6G” networks, while only now being conceived, will likely operate at the top end of the frequency spectrum, introduce advanced signal processing to ensure even more effective utilization of RF energy, and enable even more futuristic applications.

Finally, CACI’s work developing advanced communications networks could have massive impacts in the area of Electronic Warfare. As tactical networks move towards 5G, so will many of our product-based solutions. For example, the SkyTracker Technology Suite, already the most sophisticated counter-unmanned aircraft system (C-UAS) on the market, will operate in 5G environments.

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