Pentagon to prepare four U.S. bases for 5G broadband technology

Jeffrey Fries, L, learns to use virtual reality controllers from Dainius Slavinskas, R, during a product handover on March 14, 2019, at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. Photo by Paul Shirk/U.S. Air Force

Nov. 4 (UPI) — The Defense Department announced an initial request for proposals to equip four military bases with large-scale 5G mobile broadband technology.

It announced the bases to host initial 5G testing and experimentation last week: Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash; Hill AFB, Utah; Naval Base San Diego, Calif., and Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Ga., were selected.

The bases were chosen 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 Pentagon said in a statement.

The spectrum could enhance Integrated Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in mission practice and assignments, the statement added.

The RFP offers a description of the four bases and seeks feedback from the technology industry before a final RFP is released.

“History is replete with examples of the DoD partnering with the private sector to foster innovation and collaboratively bring leap-ahead technology to the forefront,” Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Lisa Porter at Los Angeles’ said at a Mobile World Congress 19 trade conference in October. “The DoD wants our American industry to lead in 5G.”

5G, or fifth-generation broadband, is regarded as a platform for innovations to enhance current mobile broadband services and expand mobile networks to support a vast diversity of devices and services with improved performance, efficiency, and cost.

“We see 5G as technology as transformative as the automobile and electricity,” a statement by Qualcomm, a company which designs and markets wireless telecommunications products and services, said in a statement.

It noted a study that predicted up to $12.3 trillion in goods and services enabled by 5G technology by 2035.

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