UPDATE In October, the U.S. Defense Department (DoD) said it was going to invest $600 million in 5G experiments. Last week, the DoD issued a statement saying it’s planning a second tranche of testing and experiments with other government agencies and with international partners, according to Signal, a publication of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association.
The DoD initially planned for five experimental test beds that included a 5G-enabled augmented reality and virtual reality capability for operational use at Joint Base Lewis–McChord, WA. Also planned were smart warehouse technologies at Naval Base San Diego and Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, GA, plus distributed command and control at Nellis Air Force Base, NV and dynamic spectrum use at Hill Air Force Base, UT.
“We’re looking at how to align and advance 5G communications, networking and computing capabilities with DoD missions. That’s the most fundamental aspect. And then based on that, accelerate our ability to use 5G and build expertise and experience with the technology,” said Joseph Evans, principal director for 5G, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering.
The second tranche, according to Signal, will include:
- Shipwide and pier connectivity at Naval Station Norfolk, VA;
- Enhancing aircraft mission readiness at Joint Base Pearl Harbor–Hickam, HI;
- Augmented reality support for medical training and telemedicine at Joint Base San Antonio, TX
- Wireless connectivity for tactical operations centers and combat operations centers with the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, CA, Fort Hood, TX, and Camp Pendleton, CA;
- 5G core security experimentation network at Joint Base San Antonio; and
- 5G-enabled immersive training and education at Tinker Air Force Base, OH.
Evans said that future announcements [BAAs] were in the works regarding 6G and 7G. “That’s all 2021 starts,” he said. “We’re looking at BAAs in both of those areas.”
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