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NSC wins $2.5B DoD contract for 5G R&D

The US Department of Defense (DoD) awarded a $2.5 billion contract to the National Spectrum Consortium (NSC) to develop new 5G technologies.

December 18, 2020

2 Min Read

WASHINGTON – The US Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded the Spectrum Forward Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) to the National Spectrum Consortium (NSC) to accelerate the development, adoption and deployment of next-generation technologies to provide our warfighters the decisive edge on the battlefield. The OTA has a term of five years and a ceiling value of $2.5 billion.

The goal of the Spectrum Forward OTA is to facilitate a partnership between the US technology and industrial base and the US Government to develop dual-use technologies across a range of advanced technologies that rely upon electromagnetic spectrum from machine learning to autonomous navigation to next generation radio access networks.

"An Other Transaction Agreement is the most effective method to enable rapid prototyping in the US Government," said Tony Melita, Executive Director of the NSC. "By bringing industry, academia and the government together, the NSC will tackle the toughest spectrum-related technological challenges facing our nation and the world. We are excited and ready to continue the development of innovative dual-use technologies that support our warfighters and American jobs."

"The United States has been the global leader in mobile technologies for decades," said Sal D'Itri, Chairman of the NSC. "Now, as 5G takes hold, we need to invest in the development of a new wave of capabilities that will once again redefine the technology landscape. On behalf of the NSC membership, we look forward to working the government, industry and academia to take on this challenge."

The NSC is comprised of nearly 400 US companies and academic institutions, and their technologists, engineers, scientists, manufacturers, and program managers work with their counterparts in government to solve the toughest problems facing the nation with regard to 5G, 5G-based technologies, and spectrum access and sharing.

The NSC's mission is to foster collaboration among Government, Industry and Academia to identify, develop and demonstrate the enabling technologies necessary to broaden the military and commercial access to and use of the electromagnetic spectrum for 5G and beyond.

DOD issued several 5G related requests for prototype proposals through the NSC earlier this year, which called for industry input into testbeds and technology development related to dynamic spectrum sharing, AR/VR for Training and Smart Warehouses.

Under this new Spectrum Forward OTA, NSC Members will "perform coordinated research and development projects designed to accelerate streamlining and upgrading of communications infrastructure, improving efficient spectrum utilization, and advancing microelectronics to enable protected and resilient networks."

Technology development areas include: machine-learning, cognitive spectrum sharing, virtual, augmented and mixed reality, narrow-band Internet of Things, autonomous navigation, next generation radio access networks, MIMO and beam forming.

National Spectrum Consortium

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