MITRE Engenuity Launches Open Generation Consortium to Drive 5G Innovation

Consortium brings together industry to drive enterprise adoption of 5G for drones and other transformational use cases

MITRE Engenuity is bringing together government and industry with a new consortium to drive radical collaboration and breakthrough 5G innovation in the United States and democratic societies. The Open Generation Consortium (Open Gen) complements existing 5G groups in the United States by focusing on use-case innovation across a series of U.S.-based 5G test ranges, including MITRE’s 5G testbed, and by making the resulting research publicly available to drive innovation and inform stakeholders.

MITRE Engenuity announced the consortium’s founding membership during its Open Generation 5G Summit today, which featured remarks from Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord. Members at launch include full members EricssonNokia, and Verizon; startup members AltiostarFIRST iZHUSH Aerospace, and Kittyhawk; academic members Northeastern University and Virginia Tech; and non-profit member CTIA – The Wireless Association.

The Open Generation Consortium initially will focus on use cases related to operating 5G-equipped drones over the United States. Initial testing will take place on ranges owned by Virginia Tech using MITRE’s 5G testbed. At these ranges, the consortium can explore issues that could impede safe flight by preventing drones from reacting to obstacles and other vehicles in their path. The consortium plans to link together a national network of test ranges to address additional use cases in the future.

“Collaborating with this diverse group of members across industry and government will allow the consortium to accelerate the enterprise value of 5G solutions on real-world networks,” said Laurie Giandomenico, MITRE Engenuity’s chief acceleration officer. “Open Generation will speak with one technical voice, using clear-cut scientific evidence, and create opportunities for innovation in a low-cost, collaborative way.”

Charles Clancy, MITRE’s chief futurist and senior vice president and general manager of MITRE Labs, said, “Developing innovations in 5G use cases for drones can impact smart cities, address crisis response, and advance agriculture needs. But the impact of 5G goes well beyond drones by connecting everything from home appliances to critical infrastructure to the cloud, impacting healthcare, factory automation, critical infrastructure, and more. We must begin creating solutions and setting new standards as one, collaborative voice, to ensure a safer future for all.”

Member perspectives:

Marcus Weldon, corporate chief technology officer of Nokia and president of Nokia Bell Labs, said, “We are on the verge of a new value paradigm of ‘Remote X’ enabled by 5G as the critical networking infrastructure that will allow the remote access to, interaction with, and intelligent control of everything, from anywhere. But this new productivity and human age requires 5G networks and systems to be deployed in critical manufacturing, logistics, healthcare, energy, public safety, and transportation systems, to name just a few, with the requisite latency, reliability, capacity, and security. Nokia is pleased to join the MITRE Engenuity Open Generation Consortium as a founding member to jointly understand, develop, and test the critical industrial automation systems that will underpin this exciting future.”

Jan Soderstrom, vice president and head of Technology Office Silicon Valley, Ericsson, said, “Close collaboration between industry and government is critical to accelerate 5G development in the U.S., helping to find new, innovative use cases that can be quickly brought to market. Ericsson is excited to be a part of the launch of the Open Generation Consortium, working to utilize 5G to pave the path for enormous economic growth.”

Kyle Malady, chief technology officer for Verizon, said, “Verizon has deployed the only 5G service built from the ground up to be the 21st century infrastructure that will shape the future. Our goal from the beginning has been to create a transformational 5G network that will drastically change society, and to convene an ecosystem around this technology to create, test, and deploy the solutions that can take advantage of the incredible capabilities of 5G. We believe the Open Generation Consortium can help lead the way for much of this collaboration and creation, and we are proud to be a founding member.”

Tom Sawanobori, senior vice president and chief technology officer of CTIA – The Wireless Association, said, “Congratulations to the Open Generation Consortium on its launch. We are excited to be part of this important cross-industry collaboration as America builds its 5G economy.”

Tommaso Melodia, director of the Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things at Northeastern University, said, “We are excited to be among the founding members of the Open Gen Consortium. The U.S. 5G wireless ecosystems will only grow through close partnerships with academia, government, and industry. We need venues to foster this global information exchange, and the focus on drones will enable innovation at the nexus between wireless, AI, and softwarization, which is where the U.S. industrial and academic complex excels.”

Phil Burks, CEO of The Genesis Group, said, “I am proud that FIRST iZ is a founding member of the Open Generation Consortium – future-thinkers working together to use technology for good to better our lives and quality of life.”