Pentagon Expands 5G Testbeds


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The pentagon has stepped up its 5G testing. It announced seven additional test beds this week. They are: Naval Base Norfolk, VA; Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, HI; Joint Base San Antonio, TX; the National Training Center (NTC) at Fort Irwin, CA; Fort Hood, TX; Camp Pendleton, CA; and Tinker Air Force Base, OK.

This second round brings the total number of installations selected to host 5G testing to 12. This group builds on DoD’s previously-announced 5G communications technology prototyping and experimentation.

Last year, the department announced the selection of the first 5G base test beds: Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA; Hill Air Force Base, UT; Naval Base San Diego, CA; and Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, GA. Last month, DoD said Nellis Air Force Base, NV had also been selected.

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

DoD recognizes the commercial industry will play a key role in the development of 5G technology for both military and civilian uses. In the coming weeks, the department will issue requests for prototype proposals from industry partners. The new round of opportunities will focus on the following areas:

  • Ship-wide/Pier Connectivity at Naval Station Norfolk
  • Enhancing Aircraft Mission Readiness at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam
  • Augmented Reality Support of Maintenance and Training at Joint Base San Antonio
  • Wireless Connectivity for Forward Operating Bases (FOB) and Tactical Operations Centers (TOC) at the NTC at Fort Irwin and Fort Hood, Texas  
  •  Wireless Connectivity for FOBs and TOCs at Camp Pendleton
  • DoD 5G Core Security Experimentation Network at Joint Base San Antonio and multiple remote locations
  • Bi-directional Spectrum Sharing – DoD / Commercial at Tinker AFB

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