5 Key Things About 5G

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By Rick Ledgett

Rick Ledgett served as the Deputy Director of the National Security Agency from January 2014 until his retirement in April 2017, culminating a nearly 40-year career in cryptology at NSA and in the U.S. Army. He previously led the Media Leaks Task Force, the Agency’s response to the Snowden leaks. He was the first National Intelligence Manager for Cyber at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and he directed the NSA’s 24/7 cyber threat operations center.

Last week, The Cipher Brief told you how and why the U.S. has been working to convince its allies to ban Chinese vendors from contributing to the development of 5G networks as well as offering some basics about what 5G actually is, and what we should be most focused on as private companies continue to develop the 5G network.
This week, we bring you a candid conversation with Cipher Brief Expert and former Deputy Director of the NSA, Rick Ledgett, about who will be impacted the most by 5G technology and the 5 key things that everyone needs to consider.
5G is an umbrella term that encompasses a lot of different technologies that are designed to satisfy three evolving communications needs:
  • Mobile users who want a lot of data quickly
  • Internet of Things devices that need low-speed connectivity on a massive scale
  • Things like autonomous (aka self-driving) vehicles that need ultra-reliable connections with virtually no delay.

5G is also a marketing term that might mean all, any, or none of the above, depending on who is using it and in what context.

Rick Ledgett, Former Deputy Director, NSA

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