DoD Gives the ‘Go’ Order to the Marines on 5G-Smart Warehouses Prototype


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UPDATE The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) announced last week that it is moving ahead with its 5G-to-Next G Initiative (5GI). A Smart Warehouse Technology Early Capabilities Demonstration will serve as the prototype for 5GI technology. The $90 million project is operating under the guidance of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, and will feature download speeds of 1.5 Gbps with sub 15 msec latency. Transmission will use the 380 MHz of spectrum in the mid-band and mmWave.

“This is a unique opportunity to apply the latest 5G technologies to a traditional but mission critical support area for our warfighters,” said John Larson, Naval Information Warfare Center Atlantic, the prototype’s program manager. “Warehousing and logistical support is the lifeline for the Marines Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations. A tremendous amount of planning, preparation and continuous execution is applied to ensure the necessary material is pre-positioned around the world and available at a moment’s notice to support our Marines. 5G technologies deliver the fidelity, speed and security needed to accomplish this mission,” he said.   

The DoD describes the operating system as composed of a three-pronged “thrust.” The three spearheads are labelled Accelerate, Operate Through, and Innovate. As a group, the triumvirate will take advantage of current 5G applications, develop technology to maximize and safely use existing networks, and research future opportunities in readiness for 6G.

“Advanced telecommunications are critical to the U.S. economy and our way of networked warfighting. The Initiative is a major DoD program that is intended to ensure U.S. leadership in 5G and beyond,” stated Dr. Joe Evans, Principal Director of DoD’s 5G Initiative.

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