Partnerships and Executive Moves

VA Teams Up With AT&T for 5G Experiments at Seattle Health Care Facility


VA Teams Up With AT&T for 5G Experiments at Seattle Health Care Facility

The Department of Veterans Affairs has partnered with AT&T to begin 5G experiments at the Puget Sound Health Care System in Seattle focused on various health care applications.

The experiments at the Seattle-based facility will utilize AT&T’s 5G and multi-access edge computing technologies, which, according to the telecommunications company, will bring real-time, high-bandwidth, low-latency access to latency dependent mobile applications.

Garrick Yahnke, assistant vice president-civilian for AT&T public sector and FirstNet, said the 5G expansion at Puget Sound marks the first time the next-generation technology has been implemented beyond siloed segments and across a large VA health care and training facility, Nextgov reported Thursday.

The partnership between the VA and AT&T comes almost a year after the agency began its 5G pilot with Verizon in a California hospital. Verizon’s 5G network supported clinically relevant, technological applications and products used by the agency.

The VA has since planned new 5G deployments, including the one at Puget Sound.

Moving forward, the VA seeks to explore 5G-enabled wearable devices and telemedicine services, medical device connectivity for tracking people and assets, as well as augmented and virtual reality for patient care and clinician training. 

However, these are all just plans for now since the VA still needs to install the necessary 5G and MEC infrastructure to get a better picture of what it can accomplish, Daniel Mesimer, director of WAN/LAN infrastructure engineering and provisioning solution delivery in VA’s Office of Information and Technology, IT Operations and Services, told Nextgov.

AT&T has already finished installing a 5G distributed antenna system, with 5G coverage now reaching Puget Sound’s recently opened Mental Health and Research building. The telecom company intends to set up MEC and 5G millimeter-wave spectrum technologies within the year.

Potomac Officers Club Logo
Sign up for Potomac Officers Club's daily briefing
Receive updates on events and relevant news