The Department of Defense announced Oct. 23 that it will issue a draft Request for Proposals (RFP) in November focused on large-scale experimentation and prototyping for 5G technologies. The draft RFP will include a description of four U.S. military installations where initial 5G experimentation will take place and will give industry an opportunity to provide feedback before the final RFP is issued, the Defense Department reported in a release.
"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," said Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Lisa Porter during remarks at Mobile World Congress 19 in Los Angeles. "The DoD wants our American industry to lead in 5G. A strong American economy is vital to our national security. We will never let up on our commitment to continuously innovate with our partners in the private sector, as well as with our partners across the Government."
Porter shared the stage with Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai and National Telecommunications and Information Administration administrator Diane Rinaldo.
Information gathered from responses to the draft RFP will inform the final RFP planned for December. RFP release will depend on passage of a 2020 defense appropriations bill.
The first round of DoD opportunities will focus on three areas:
- Establishing a dynamic spectrum sharing testbed to demonstrate the capability to use 5G in congested environments with high-power, mid-band radars.
- Integrating Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality into mission planning and training in both virtual and live environments on training ranges.
- Smart Warehouses to leverage 5G's ability to enhance logistics operations and maximize throughput.
Installations selected for testing and experimentation will 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, DoD said.
Proposed industry projects should demonstrate innovative prototypes and approaches to deploying new commercial technologies that enhance military capabilities and speed 5G deployment.
DoD plans to add new opportunities roughly every quarter, pending funds availability, and will hold an Industry Day prior to issuing the final RFP.
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