This IDC Perspective, which presents as a case study for other industries, discusses the potential for emerging 5G networks to enhance and expand upon existing LTE-based first-responder systems, particularly those systems leveraged for responding to and combatting major disasters such as the recent wildfires in California. Communication service providers (CSPs) and vendors alike continue to position 5G as a viable solution across a number of industry verticals and enterprise use cases. While many of these use cases will take years to matriculate, first-responder networks are likely to become a proving ground for 5G in part due to the buildouts of dedicated first-responder networks (e.g., FirstNet) and 5G's inherent low-latency and reliable characteristics.

"What makes 5G interesting is its ability to truly meet the mantra 'mission critical,' where performance metrics are not measured in downtime or units lost, but lives saved and mission efficacy enhanced," says Rohit Mehra, vice president, IDC Network Infrastructure. "5G's performance characteristics, including ultrareliable, low latency, and highly secure, make it a 'glove-fit technology' for these scenarios and as such, a more realistic use case to address in the near term."



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