GAO: 5G Rollout Could Result in Spectrum Mgmt, Cybersecurity Risks

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The Government Accountability Office has issued a guidance detailing the potential benefits and challenges of 5G implementation.

GAO said that 5G, which is suitable for high-throughput broadband applications like virtual and augmented reality and cloud services, can be used to support emerging concepts like internet-of-things ecosystems and self-driving cars. The next-level connectivity can also support the U.S. economy through new jobs, according to the watchdog.

However, GAO noted that 5G implementation could pose challenges in spectrum management and result in high infrastructure costs and cybersecurity risks.

Rolling out the technology may also result in the potential loss of user data due to location-based connectivity issues. In addition, 5G may exacerbate the widening digital divide with high-population urban areas expected to benefit from the technology earlier than rural and low-income locations.

According to GAO, telecommunications firms have begun deploying hybrid 4G and 5G networks while researchers are assessing the feasibility of using numerous small antennas to prevent connection interference and drive energy efficiency.

Companies are also expected to leverage standalone 5G networks and low-latency communications systems over the next decade, GAO said.

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