How far away is 6G?
In this InTechnology video, Camille talks with Ken Urquhart, Global Vice President of 5G Strategy at Zscaler. They get into a broad look at 5G networks, applications of AI in 5G and 6G, and implementing zero trust in 5G networks.
A Broad Look at 5G Networks
Ken initiates his discussion by characterizing 5G as the capability for wireless transmission at fiber-optic speeds, though he notes there are more intricate details beneath this definition. He outlines the objectives of 5G: minimizing power usage in wireless networks, enhancing connectivity and network sharing among a larger number of devices, and bolstering network security. Ken highlights that 5G technology is pivotal for advancements such as smart cities and self-driving vehicles. He acknowledges the feasibility of companies establishing private 5G networks but points out the complexity of this process compared to setting up Wi-Fi. Ken discusses the complexities of entering the private telecommunications sector and the strict regulations surrounding frequency sharing by the FCC. Looking towards 6G, he mentions the physical limitations that make it suitable for shorter distances, such as wire-free building environments or creating high-speed emergency communication systems like those used by FEMA.
Applications of AI in 5G and 6G
The evolution from 5G to 6G aims for more efficient transmission, requiring the exploration of sub-terahertz frequencies and refined antenna tuning. Ken highlights two methods for tuning antennas: software-defined radios and AI, with AI being quicker and more efficient. However, he cautions about the vulnerability of AI to hacking through data manipulation. Ken emphasizes the need for further investigation in this area, suggesting fallbacks to preset parameters or alternating AI systems as potential solutions. He advocates for the continued integration of AI in 5G networks, stressing the importance of enhancing security measures.
Implementing Zero Trust in 5G Networks
In the segment with Camille, Ken delves into the concept of zero trust within the realm of 5G networks. He revisits the zero trust principle, which is operating securely in potentially unsecured environments. Referencing NIST guidelines, he lists five critical elements to safeguard: user, device, network, application, and data. While acknowledging the superior security of 5G over 4G, Ken points out that network security is just one aspect of a comprehensive system requiring protection. He discusses the integration of authentication methods, governance strategies, encrypted data exchanges, orchestration, automation, and real-time monitoring as integral components of zero-trust practices. Ken concludes by emphasizing that zero trust is designed to proactively prevent attacks.
Ken Urquhart, Global Vice President of 5G Strategy at Zscaler
Ken Urquhart presently holds the position of Global Vice President of 5G Strategy at Zscaler, a foremost cloud security platform. He also serves as an Industrial Fellow at Purdue’s Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy. With over four decades in the technology sector, Ken specializes in areas such as 5G, cybersecurity, AI, and engineering. His career history includes being the 5G Lead & Chief Data Alchemist at Luxoft, the Founder and CTO of QBIC, as well as 13 years in senior leadership at Microsoft. Ken obtained a Ph.D. in Experimental and Computational Physics from Simon Fraser University and has experience as a Post Doctoral Researcher in the same field at The University of Tokyo.
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