5G and 6G networks to give first responders and smart city projects a boost, researchers say

Though 5G and 6G networks could help first responders and smart city projects with more reliable communications, faster data transfer and new capabilities like intelligent edge computing, they also could introduce new threats, according to a federal report.

To aid public sector officials in understanding the implications of 5G, the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate recently completed an in-depth study of technologies being deployed.

“Organizations must balance adoption of these capabilities against the risks and uncertainties in play with both technologies,” S&T Senior Tech Scout Mark Fry said.

Global deployment of 5G started in 2019, promising faster and more resilient data transfer. The new networking protocol will enable new technologies like driverless cars and autonomous delivery robots while DHS’ mission will see advancements in sensor networks and autonomous systems, researchers wrote. For state and local governments, the roll out will enable new tools for first responders like priority networks, geolocation and search-and-rescue drones.