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Test & Measurement

DoD awards $600M to AT&T, Ericsson, Nokia, others, for 5G testing

The Department of Defense today announced it is awarding some $600 million to more than a dozen companies for "5G experimentation" at five military test sites. These awards are the result of several Defense Department requests for proposals that have been going on over the last several years.

"Projects will include piloting 5G-enabled augmented/virtual reality for mission planning and training, testing 5G-enabled Smart Warehouses, and evaluating 5G technologies to enhance distributed command and control," the DoD said in its press release.

The test sites named by the DoD were Hill Air Force Base, Utah; Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), Washington; Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Georgia; Naval Base, San Diego, California; and Nellis Air Force Base, Las Vegas, Nevada.

The companies and vendors involved include AT&T, Ericsson, Nokia, GE Research and Federated Wireless. Samsung benefits from being one of the main suppliers of GBL System Corp, which was namechecked by the DoD as creating a midband spectrum 5G testbed at JBLM.

"Importantly, today's announcement demonstrates the Department's commitment to exploring the vast potential applications and dual-use opportunities that can be built upon next-generation networks," said Michael Kratsios, Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering.

"5G communications technology is a foundational enabler for all U.S. defense modernization programs, and vital to U.S. national and economic security," the release said. "Today's announcement builds on DoD’s previously-announced 5G prototyping efforts and is part of a 5G development roadmap guided by the Department of Defense 5G Strategy."

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Phil Harvey, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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