DOD Investing $600M on 5G Experiments

(Image credit: Dong Wenjie via Getty Images)

Those concerned about the Department of Defense and its role in 5G networks faced another potential front Thursday with DOD's announcement of $600 million in awards for 5G dual-use experiments.

The experiments at five military test sites, are being billed as the largest "full-scale 5G tests for dual-use applications in the world."

Related: Conservative Groups Back GOP Pushback on Nationalized 5G

Each installation will partner with industry and academics on things like augmented reality, smart warehouses and 5G for enhancing distributed command and control.

"[T]oday’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.

The test sites are Hill Air Force Base, Utah; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington; Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Georgia; Naval Base San Diego; and Nellis Air Force Base, Las Vegas.

They were chosen, according to the White House, because they could "provide streamlined access to spectrum bands and mature fiber and wireless infrastructure, support new or improved infrastructure requirements, and conduct controlled experimentation with dynamic spectrum sharing."

DOD has sought input on a nationalized 5G network that the government and private industry would share.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.