LEGAL & 5G
Q&A with Alan S. Tilles, Telecom, Data Privacy & Entertainment Attorny Shulman Rogers
Q What are the most common questions you get from your customers in terms of 5G? Is there any lack of education or understanding of the technology from the enterprises?
A Most of the initial questions that I get about 5G have to do with when will the technology be available to them, how much infrastructure (in the form of small cells) will there be (and where), and frankly many questions about the health implications of 5G technology.
Q What are the expected 5G applications for the mission critical industry, in the short and long-term?
A The implications of 5G technology for mission critical applications is huge. Increasingly the mission critical industry is relying on sensors of a variety of types. IoT devices are exploding as much in the mission critical industry as they are in the consumer market. 5G makes it easy from so many aspects.
Q What data privacy and security concerns is 5G bringing? How can enterprises prepare themselves for this?
A A long time ago, hacking a voice system was bad, but did not have the implications that hacking data and IoT devices can bring. From financially ruining a person or company, to actually causing personal injuries, the dangers have exponentially multiplied. We all must take security seriously. Up to now, the primary penalties to companies lacking proper security have been not terribly punitive. Until the cost of non-compliance is greater than the cost of compliance, we’ll not be able to depend on cyber vigilance.
Q What are the spectrum challenges that arise from 5G when it comes to public safety? How can the FCC and public safety bodies work together to ensure 5G complements their mission?
A With the exception of spectrum allocated to carriers, there is no opportunity for public safety implementation of a 5G public safety system (unless we’re talking about CBRS). From a carrier standpoint, public safety entities will have a number of “spectrum” choices (although really carrier choices). I’m not certain that we need FCC assistance in this regard. Having said that, where the FCC and public safety bodies can work together is to review public safety use of the VHF band, and see what changes that we can make from a regulatory standpoint to explore implementing more sophisticated transmission technology and types of services into the band. As more and more agencies gravitate to 700/800 MHz and/or Carrier-based systems, opportunities may arise in VHF, and we should take advantage of that. It may be a heavy lift, but it is worth exploring.
Q Is CBRS availability changing the connectivity game for enterprises, and how? What are the expected benefits and challenges of private networks?
A CBRS certainly has the potential to change the indoor wireless game. For buildings or facilities of sufficient size, the ability to expand the types of communications (IoT devices, etc.) within the venue, extend customer or visitor communications where carriers are unwilling to provide greater service, and to control (and perhaps monetise) data within the facility, is exciting. The challenge initially will be the willingness to be on the cutting edge of a new paradigm of spectrum utilisation and an heretofore unproven (on a wide-scale