Amid the ever-rising tide of data, federal agencies need “an advanced network solution with major bandwidth — and it needs to be persistent, reliable, secure and mobility enabled,” said Paul McQuillan. And with 5G networking, they can meet that need.
As chief growth and strategy officer with Oceus, McQuillan sees legacy networks falling short.
“Some of the existing communications infrastructures, including Wi-Fi networks, simply cannot scale,” he said. “Legacy wireless networks weren’t really built to integrate that security, to support the device density, to address the needs of automation.”
While 5G can close the gap, getting there isn’t as simple as just throwing a switch.
Federal chief information officers, chief technology officers and chief information security officers will need to chart a path forward in order to migrate from legacy wireless systems to a 5G-enabled future. Oceus can help.
“For over 30 years, Oceus has been providing broadband wireless solutions for government and commercial,” McQuillan said. “We’ve deployed over 150 cellular systems in the government, for various use cases.”
The company’s expertise in this area runs deep. It has designed its own wireless systems, and it partners with wireless original equipment manufacturers and compute providers. Oceus is also a Commercial Solution for Classified integrator on national security use cases.
The company is making headway on its efforts to deploy 5G in support of the federal mission.
Through the Defense Department’s Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, the company is under multiple contracts providing operational 5G networks, McQuillan said.
“We’ve got contracts doing logistics, augmented reality, telemedicine, and putting in test networks, what we call ‘foundation networks,’” he said. “We’re one of the proven performers and very successful in that program.”
DOD is leading the federal effort toward 5G adoption, and McQuillan is betting that success there will lead to future civilian-agency engagements.
“The federal civilian agencies are looking develop similar enterprise-wide 5G solutions,” he said. “They’re also doing some piloting and testing, but they’re monitoring many of the OUSD initiatives and taking those lessons learned into their own technology roadmap.”
To position itself for future success in that arena, Oceus recently announced a strategic alliance with T-Mobile to deliver key offerings to the U.S. government. Together, they will offer a full portfolio of solutions designed specifically for federal use cases.
The two are creating “the bridge between a public network and a private network,” McQuillan said. T-Mobile is delivering a nationwide 5G network and Oceus is providing a wireless private network that allows transmitting and receiving across many different data signals, with a software-defined network deployable as a tactical deployment, an enterprise on-premise solution or a cloud-based solution.
Of course, there are others looking to shepherd government through its evolution toward 5G networking. Oceus’ competitive edge here lies in its high degree of specialization.
“This is all we do,” McQuillan said. “We take the best of the hardware and wrap our software around it to design, build and operate those networks in a private setting.”
From a business perspective, McQuillan said, the biggest challenge these days in in the rate of adoption around 5G solutions in government.
“It’s a new technology that is just becoming available in lots of different cities and states around the country, around the world,” he said.
Government is still in the exploratory phase, with many pilot projects looking into issues of scalability, security, interoperability and device interactions. McQuillan said 5G adoption will accelerate over the next couple of years, “but in the meantime, we need to be very nimble, to be able to play in these pilots, to show our proof-of-concepts, show our experience,” he added.
Success lies in helping the agencies connect the dots between the power of 5G, on the one hand, and their specific mission needs, on the other.
“What are you trying to accomplish? Maybe they want to support autonomous vehicles, or put out some robotics, or do augmented reality,” McQuillan said. Oceus can help to show them how to get there.
Right now, that means bringing agencies up to speed.
“There are a lot of white papers, a lot of technical briefings, a lot of pre-sales engineering where we’re working through pilots or demos to show them the capabilities,” McQuillan said. “We’ve got to walk through all so that they feel comfortable with how this is going to be supporting their mission.”
With over 30 years’ experience in the government contracting space, McQuillan said he takes personal pride in supporting the federal endeavor.
“We are delivering the capabilities that make our country great, supporting national defense and our NATO allies in defending freedom around the world,” he said. “I love when we can build new technologies and capabilities — delivering those solutions, bringing together subject matter expert teams in a collaborative environment to solve complex problems for government. That’s exciting, day in and day out.”