US Department of Defense Starts Experimenting with 5G Technology

The US Department of Defense has selected Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington; Hill Air Force Base, Utah; Naval Base San Diego, California; and Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Georgia as the first U.S. military installations to host testing and experimentation for 5G technology. 

The bases were selected for their ability to provide streamlined access to site spectrum bands, mature fiber, and wireless infrastructure, access to key facilities, support for new or improved infrastructure requirements, and the ability to conduct controlled experimentation with dynamic spectrum sharing. 

The department announced earlier this month it would issue a draft request for proposals in November. Information gathered from responses to the draft RFP will factor into the creation of a final RFP planned for December, though the timing will depend on the passage of a 2020 defense appropriations bill. 

DOD plans to add new opportunities roughly every quarter, pending funds availability, and will hold an industry day prior to issuing the final RFP. The first round of opportunities will focus on the following areas:

  • Establishing a dynamic spectrum sharing testbed to demonstrate the capability to use 5G in congested environments with high-power, mid-band radars.
  • Integrating Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality into mission planning and training in both virtual and live environments on training ranges.
  • Smart Warehouses to leverage 5G’s ability to enhance logistics operations and maximize throughput.

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