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CRS Issues Report on 5G Tech’s National Security Implications

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The Congressional Research Service has released a report outlining some of the national security implications of 5G-enabled mobile technologies. CRS said in the April 23rd report that Congress may consider policies for national security, spectrum management, and military operations as 5G platforms are developed and fielded. 

According to the document, large portions of the usable electromagnetic spectrum are held by the Department of Defense (DOD), which also uses sub-6 frequencies. The Defense Innovation Board (DIB) recommended that DOD help facilitate the development of 5G networks by considering sharing the sub-6 spectrum. 

The report also discusses the national security risks posed by China’s telecommunications equipment and 5G infrastructure and 5G’s potential military applications, specifically for command and control, autonomous vehicles, logistics and virtual and augmented reality.

“Command and control systems could benefit from the high speed, low latency capability of 5G. For example, the U.S. military currently uses satellite communications for most of its long-distance communications. However, satellites on orbit can significantly increase latency due to the amount of distance a signal needs to travel, causing delays in the execution of military operations,” the report reads.