The DoD is Getting a 5G Testbed in Albany, GA

Marines near a helicopter

Led by Federated Wireless, a group of various wireless partners is coming together to create a 5G testbed for the Department of Defense (DoD) in Albany, GA. The 5G testbed will help modernize the warehouse operations of the Marine Corps Logistics Command. Joined by notable names such as Amazon (AWS), Capstone Partners, Cisco, JWA, Perspecta Labs, and Vectrus, the project is one of many contracts awarded by the DoD to over 100 companies for $600 million+ to improve wireless communications around the United States.

The Tranche 1 5G testbeds that Federated Wireless is working on plan on being ready for the fall of 2021. 5G technology is to be reviewed throughout the country at the various 5G testbeds that are being created. Sal D’Itri, VP and General Manager of the Federal Business Unit at Federated Wireless, said that the DoD can sometimes be overlooked but is one of the biggest enterprises in the world. “What we’re really doing is bringing a true private enterprise 5G network to the DoD,” said D’Itri.

Marine Corps Logistics worldwide is headquartered in Albany and given the size and complexity of the operations they conduct, this will be a true test of the capabilities that various applications will have including in the Internet of Things (IoT), smart warehousing, logistics, and tracking. Though Vectrus is focusing on the logistics of the warehouse and the testbed is at a singular warehouse, the important aspect here will be to see how information is shared across the different warehouses of the Marine Corps, knowing where to locate its assets, and what can be quickly accessed where needed.

Cisco’s Zero Trust Architecture consists of virtualized 5G and 4G packet core servers, mobile edge computing (MEC) processing, and fronthaul and backhaul infrastructure. JMA’s XRAN solution which is using Open RAN technology for both 5G and 4G networks, mmWave radios, and will be able to support 5G for CBRS, an area Federated Wireless is a leader in. Federated will be providing its Spectrum Access System (SAS) of which it is an administrator. Overall, the end-to-end network will use both CBRS spectrum (3.5 GHz) and mmWave spectrum (37.0-40.0 GHz).

Finding solutions for 5G and how to implement this emerging technology continues for the military. DISH Wireless offered the DoD a network slice as the organization continues to push for a nationalized 5G network, the NTIA is creating an open 5G stack ecosystem for the DoD, and 5G projects continue to pop up in different military branches such as the Air Force.

Source: Fierce Wireless