This content is sponsored by T-Mobile for Government.
In both the public and private sectors, increased connectivity is changing the way people work, communicate and even access healthcare. Businesses are using connectivity solutions to collect data in order to better control and adapt their inventories and supply chains for the needs of the future, while governments are finding innovative applications for artificial intelligence and machine learning. 5G is the next generation of mobile communication, but...
This content is sponsored by T-Mobile for Government.
In both the public and private sectors, increased connectivity is changing the way people work, communicate and even access healthcare. Businesses are using connectivity solutions to collect data in order to better control and adapt their inventories and supply chains for the needs of the future, while governments are finding innovative applications for artificial intelligence and machine learning. 5G is the next generation of mobile communication, but more than that, it’s an infrastructure for innovation.
Scalability makes 5G innovation possible. Higher connectivity and lower latency mean government agencies and industry leaders can track, transmit and analyze far more data than ever before, with hundreds or even thousands of Internet of Things sensors, in near real-time from virtually any location. So, for example, 5G could enable a public safety official to use IoT sensors to monitor public water supplies for harmful toxins from their office, home, or even in the field.
5G also helps citizens and governments interact with each other in new ways. For example, Nicole Raimundo, chief information officer of Cary, North Carolina, set out to make her city a more connected city and began using IoT sensors enabled by 5G to monitor parking spaces throughout the city. The idea was to better manage parking infrastructure, including handicapped spaces. But Raimundo didn’t stop there.
“We’re also then taking that data and sharing it out in our open data portal, and we have a citizen group that will build apps around [our needs],” she told Jonathan Strickland, host of The Restless Ones podcast. Cary’s relationship with citizens helped shape many of their connected city projects, including parking space monitoring. By focusing on initiatives that would impact the community, citizens have become more involved in their local governments.
Developing deeper relationships with citizens is just the beginning of what 5G can offer. T-Mobile partnered with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide access to telehealth services to better serve veterans.
“Private-public partnerships have really elevated this initiative to bridge the digital divide. Now Veterans can access telehealth services from their mobile devices and worry less about data charges,” said Dr. Leonie Heyworth, VA Telehealth Deputy Director for Clinical Services. “VA leads the nation in telehealth services and serves as a model for what is possible not only in rural America, but everywhere in the country.”
Veterans in rural communities aren’t the only ones that need remote access; the pandemic has driven vast swathes of workers across the public and private sectors out of the office and into a remote work environment. That’s required rapid adjustments on the parts of many government agencies to provide both the devices and the infrastructure to enable this new dynamic over the long term.
Again, that’s where public-private partnerships came into play. For example, T-Mobile helped the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) pivot from a complicated desk-phone migration to deploying nearly 1000 iPhones to its staff. Those smartphones helped employees stay connected across more channels than just voice, through the use of apps like Zoom and Teams. The 5G network gave employees greater access HCD’s data, whether gathering and transmitting it from the field, or analyzing it from their homes.
And it’s more cost-effective: switching from a landline desk phone system to T-Mobile for Government and avoiding the costs associated with a VoIP migration, HCD saved more than $300,000 during a time when revenue was down, and budgets were tight.
While increasing the number of connected devices and endpoints on a network, especially outside the traditional network boundaries, can raise a number of cybersecurity challenges, 5G also enables the tools to manage a large number of mobile devices. Unified endpoint management and mobile device management platforms leverage 5G’s increased capacity for gathering, transmitting, and analyzing data to provide a single, unified view of devices and applications.
Further, applying data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning can help agencies monitor those devices in near real-time, identifying unusual activity and potential threats while also tracking software updates and patches to ensure devices are as up to date as possible.
As government agencies look to modernize their technology platforms, respond to recent changes in where and how work gets accomplished, and prepare themselves for the future, it can be difficult to know where and how to start. In addition, technology modernization can be expensive, and agencies often struggle to find the funding they need. That’s why public-private partnerships are so important.
“Technology implementations require a lot of collaboration,” said Mark McDiarmid, Senior Vice President for Radio Network Engineering and Development at T-Mobile. “To make this all work, there will need to be commitment among all the stakeholders that can help governments accelerate their goals.”