US DoD awards $600m to test 5G at five military sites

9 October 2020 (Last Updated October 9th, 2020 12:37)

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded $600m for the experimentation and testing of 5G at five military installations.

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded $600m for the experimentation and testing of 5G at five military installations.

This initiative represents the world’s largest full-scale 5G tests for dual-use applications.

Military services, industry leaders, and academic experts will collaborate with each test sites to boost the 5G capabilities of the department.

As a part of the initiative, 5G-enabled augmented / virtual reality for mission planning and training, 5G-enabled smart warehouses will be tested and assessed to boost distributed command and control.

The test will be conducted at Hill Air Force Base (AFB) in Utah, Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany in Georgia, Naval Base San Diego in California and Nellis AFB in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The DoD stated that the bases were chosen based on the ability to offer ‘smooth access to spectrum bands and mature fibre and wireless infrastructure’.

Research and Engineering Acting Under Secretary of Defense Michael Kratsios said: “The Department of Defense is at the forefront of cutting edge 5G testing and experimentation, which will strengthen our nation’s warfighting capabilities as well as US economic competitiveness in this critical field.

“Through these test sites, the department is leveraging its unique authorities to pursue bold innovation at a scale and scope unmatched anywhere else in the world.

“Importantly, today’s announcement demonstrates the department’s commitment to exploring the vast potential applications and dual-use opportunities that can be built upon next-generation networks.”

Last month, AT&T Communications announced that the USAF will test 5G and an array of networking-as-a-service (NaaS) capabilities at three AFBs.

In May this year, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (OUSD) for Research and Engineering (R&E) and the US Air Force Warfare Center (USAFWC) at Nellis AFB, Nevada partnered to build a 5G cellular network.