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DOD’s FutureG & 5G Director Thomas Rondeau Urges Real-World 5G Experimentation Over Demos

DOD’s FutureG & 5G Director Thomas Rondeau Urges Real-World 5G Experimentation Over Demos - top government contractors - best government contracting event

5G has become an essential component of the United States military’s connectivity from bases within the country to warfighters at the tactical edge. As the Department of Defense moves forward with a “fast follower” approach to 5G, officials are placing heavy emphasis on the importance of quickly fielding the technology so that warfighters can get hands-on experience.

Dr. Thomas Rondeau, principal director of FutureG and 5G for the DOD’s Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, has advocated for getting 5G into operational environments since he began his current role in September 2022.

“No strategy survives meeting the enemy. [Radio frequency] does not survive meeting the real world. So you’ve got to get this stuff out into operationally relevant environments and get hands-on experience with it. The lab is never going to be enough for this,” Dr. Rondeau said at the Potomac Officers Club’s 2022 5G Forum.

Dr. Rondeau will be speaking again at the ExecutiveBiz 5G Forum on April 25! Don’t miss your chance to speak with 5G leaders in person and hear Dr. Rondeau’s insights from his first six months in the OUSD R&E role. Register here

“These are complicated technologies, and what really needs to happen is the network needs to take a backseat to the operations. We can’t have our warfighters out there worrying about whether or not their network is going to survive, or if the radios are gonna work — they just need to work for them. That is only going to come with rigorous day-to-day exercises and just being part of our demonstrations, our exercises and our operational readiness procedures,” he added.

For Dr. Rondeau, moving beyond demonstrations and getting 5G experimentation in full swing will reveal two major insights: how well the technology maps to real-world environments and how effectively warfighters can actually use it. 

Another critical element of successful 5G adoption is being able to scale it to meet mission needs. 

“We need to scale this to the level of the real world operations — a base station and five handsets is never going to be enough. We need to have the scale, the scope of a real theater and the complexity that’s going to leverage on the network itself, potentially multiple cores, multiple base stations and many, many enabled 5G/FutureG devices that are taking advantage of that,” he explained.

What’s next for 5G in the U.S. military? Join the April 25 5G Forum hosted by ExecutiveBiz to hear more. Register here

DOD’s FutureG & 5G Director Thomas Rondeau Urges Real-World 5G Experimentation Over Demos - top government contractors - best government contracting event

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Written by Summer Myatt

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