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AT&T and the Purdue College of Engineering have created a 5G research and development testbed focusing on a new approach to security that harnesses 5G millimeter wave (mmWave) and quantum cryptography

Quantum cryptography uses the strange properties of quantum mechanics instead of computer code to secure information transmission. The testbed, which is located in the Indiana 5G zone, uses multi-access edge computing (MEC) in addition to 5G mmWave to enable near real-time data collection and analysis.

“We are proud to collaborate with Purdue College of Engineering and Indiana 5G Zone. Some of the world’s greatest innovations come through collaborations with world class universities,” AT&T Indiana President Bill Soards said in a press release about the AT&T 5G testbed. “5G is revolutionizing the way in which we interact with our physical environment, by connecting people, devices and experiences.”

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Quantum cryptography is expected to be useful in sectors that require extreme security, such as financial institutions, law firms and governmental agencies.

5G and complementary innovations such as MEC have set up a race between competing carrier ecosystems to find business and consumer use cases that will lead new products and services, sometimes using a dedicated 5G testbed.

In March, Verizon Business said it is partnering with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) – a U.S. Department of Energy Lab – to explore ways to enhance national security and energy efficiency. The work, which is built upon 5G Ultra Wideband, was slated to take place at PNNL’s Richland, WA, location.

In May, T-Mobile, Intel and NASA opened the 5G Open Innovation Lab. The first “class” selected for the 12-week program consisted of 17 companies. Three of the companies in the program were still in stealth mode when the lab began operations.

Consumers have not been forgotten as carriers explore ways to use 5G. Last week, AT&T and Ericsson meshed 5G with live streaming, machine learning, edge computing, 3D, augmented reality – and music. The demo featured singer/songwriter Axel Mansoor, who interacted in real-time with 10 fans for about 20 minutes.

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