AT&T Communications has announced that the US Air Force (USAF) will test 5G and an array of networking-as-a-service (NaaS) capabilities at three airforce bases (AFB).

The telecommunications company will provide services to Buckley in Colorado, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska, and Offutt AFB in Nebraska.

The capabilities are expected to aid the work of over 24,000 military personnel at the AFBs.

USAF Enterprise IT and Cyber Infrastructure Division deputy colonel Justin Collins said: “We think it is vital to test commercially provided services like 5G and software-based networking-as-a-service capabilities as we explore ways to help us innovate and improve our global air, space and cyber readiness.

“We expect 5G service will help us improve the user experience and support a broad array of use cases that can enhance mission effectiveness.”

The testing is part of the USAF’s plans to transform and modernise the networking infrastructure.

The solutions are provided to the three bases under other transaction authority (OTA) agreements awarded by the USAF for its enterprise IT-as-a-service (EITaaS) programme.

Additionally, the company is providing the three AFBs with base area network, wide area network, telephony, internet access and secure legacy systems interoperability.

These capabilities, along with 5G, will support internet of things (IoT), augmented and virtual reality, robotics and other advanced technologies.

AT&T has finished the 5G system design for all the three bases and expects to deliver the service by the end of next year.