Five military bases are about to begin various 5G tests that could result in improved communications for the armed forces, and lucrative contracts to the vendors providing the supporting equipment. Contracts, while modest by government standards, could still total over $600 million, reports DefenseOne.com. Dynamic spectrum sharing is expected to be one of the key aspects under observation.
“What we’re trying to do is understand how you can make these high-powered radars co-exist with these 5G cellular systems. Probably the first thing we have to do there is understand the environment and understand the impact of those systems on each other,” said Joseph Evans, Director for 5G in the Office of the Director of Research and Engineering. These are at-scale deployments of 5G technology and an evaluation of DoD and industry dual-use,” he added.
Five locations will concentrate on different aspects of 5G. The first, Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington, will focus on augmented and virtual reality training. The Naval Base in San Diego, CA will take on smart warehousing. The Albany, GA Marine Corps Logistics Base will study 5G smart warehousing specifically for vehicles. Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada will focus on distributed command and control aspects of 5G. And finally, Hill Air Force Base in Utah will take on dynamic spectrum sharing.
Evans points out that all testing is aimed at “trying to make our forces more survivable by taking command and control functions that have long been housed in single buildings and spreading them out [making] them mobile. We’re really trying to change the way our forces are deployed in the field.”
The United States is also interested in coordinating with big players in the telecom industry in an effort to keep pace with China, which already allows authorized agencies to use certain parts of the spectrum within the country.