Co-authored by Kevin McFadden

Enhancing Government Outcomes with Integrated Private 5G

Private 5G is now ready to be part of your enterprise wireless communications transformation strategy. While there has been extensive focus on ultra-wideband gigabit speeds from public Mobile Network Operators, there are even greater government expectations for 5G capabilities to assure the quality of service and empower new mission-critical use cases. 3GPP standards are enabling delivery of capabilities in three strategic 5G areas: enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), Ultra-Reliable and Low Latency Communications (URLLC), and massive Machine Type Communications (mMTC).  Private 5G is uniquely capable of addressing critical communications requiring interference-free spectrum, high throughput and/or low latency deterministic data delivery, and the ability to transfer terabytes of data without a metered service plan.  The result will be a wide range of advanced public and private network wireless capabilities for high-definition video, advanced command and control, autonomous vehicles, and addressing previously overwhelming quantities of sensor data.

Private 5G Fundamentals

Cisco’s Private 5G solution is built on service provider class technology, tailored and optimized for enterprise consumption. For decades, Cisco has powered cellular networks around the world through advanced IP transport and 3GPP standards-based components, including our industry-leading Mobile Packet Core. Our new Private 5G solution delivers Wi-Fi-like simplicity through a cloud-native platform built on a services-based architecture and micro-services infrastructure. The solution offers a zero-touch delivery approach to on-premises elements that provide wireless connectivity between user devices and applications, while ensuring organizational and local data sovereignty. Cisco’s proven IoT platform manages the on-premises elements allowing for rapid turn-up and delivery of services, reducing government 5G learning curves and on-boarding burdens.

Better Together – An Enterprise Wireless Approach

An integrated private wireless strategy for Private 5G and Wi-Fi6 working together can deliver near-term transformative innovation as well as optimal user experiences and new mission-critical capabilities for the next generation of government mobility.

Bringing Private 5G enterprise mobility together with Enterprise IT and existing wireless infrastructures will ensure optimal quality of service, ubiquity of access, and enhanced security for mobile users. This integrated enterprise wireless approach, as depicted in the above picture, also enables the alignment and delivery of enterprise operational and security policies across your entire communications ecosystem.  This “better together” story makes even more sense when you consider the vast majority of current 5G connections for voice and data access occur indoors, often where an existing Wi-Fi environment can be leveraged.

Better Together Outcomes – Optimized Experience / Minimized Costs

“Better Together” is a commonsense approach for government organizations that are bringing 5G into existing communications environments and complements the significant wireless investments that most government organizations have already made. And what could be more important in this age of hybrid work? A recent example: working in partnership with Dish Wireless, Cisco has teamed with Internet2 and Duke University to integrate Duke’s campus wireless network with Internet2’s upgraded fifth-generation national research and education network. “Rather than providing two separate infrastructures throughout campuses for cellular and Wi-Fi, the holy grail has always been for a single, common network delivering both cellular and high-speed private Wi-Fi,” said Tracy Futhey, VP and CIO at Duke University.”

This ability to deliver the right wireless technology to optimize overall experience and performance and to ensure enhanced and cost-effective mission and business outcomes are essential for government enterprises focused on user experience and security (and also meeting multiple Executive Orders and President’s Management Agenda requirement mandates).

Key Zero Trust and Security Considerations

Comprehensive, real-time visibility is needed across the wireless enterprise for optimal automation, orchestration, and performance and more importantly, delivering zero trust security. The “better together” approach fully supports Zero Trust mandates to continuously verify trust as called out in both federal mandates and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) Zero Trust Maturity Model. This integrated Private 5G and Wi-Fi 6 approach:

  • Enables optimal Visibility & Analytics and Automation & Orchestration to better protect workloads, applications, and data;
  • Ensures access control is as granular as possible to isolate user environments, applications, and data;
  • Provides richer data for more effective anomalous activity mitigation.


Integrating Private 5G into your enterprise wireless architecture is essential for optimal wireless performance and user experience as well as fully understanding and mitigating potential adversarial actions and ensuring dynamic responses to identified or suspected threats.

Both 5G and Wi-Fi 6 can deliver mission-enabling and transformative government mission and business outcomes but are “better together” and “best” when integrated.


Steve Vetter

Senior Strategic Solution Executive and Federal Strategist

U.S. Public Sector