The US Department of Defence (DoD) has announced that it will start a “large-scale” effort to test various applications of 5G technology in the next few months.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Lisa Porter, the DoD’s deputy undersecretary for research and engineering, said that the 5G-related research could bring hefty profits to both the Pentagon and US industry.
“This is really part of a bigger strategic push. We have to acknowledge that together we need to work that out—industry needs access to spectrum, DoD needs access to spectrum. It’s essentially a call to action, saying ‘let’s get serious about figuring out how to do this together’,” she pointed out.
According to her, the program will include three different 5G use cases and is due to be implemented at four Defence Department installations on US territory, which have yet to be specified.
Porter added that these four sites will carry out experiments related to using 5G to expand the use of augmented and virtual reality systems in training and mission planning, developing “smart warehouses” that use 5G networks to improve logistics, and “dynamic spectrum sharing” between various military functions.
“A big part of what we want to make sure we do is piece together with industry how we address the vulnerabilities that are going to emerge in 5G,” she noted, adding,” 5G is really ultimately about ubiquitous connectivity, right, it’s not just cellphones and cat videos, it’s really everything getting connected to everything else.”
She also said that the Pentagon is scheduled to release a draft request for proposal to the industry on 4 November, with a final version expected in December.
The remarks come as the US is trying to hamper the Chinese giant Huawei’s drive to develop 5G network.
US Opts to Pump Money into Huawei’s European Rivals
Earlier this month, the Financial Times quoted two unnamed sources as saying that the US had called for issuing credit to Huawei’s European rivals, including Nokia and Ericsson, so that they can “match the generous financing terms that Huawei offers to its customers.”
The sources warned that if the companies fail to do so, Huawei may “soon be the only option for anyone wanting to roll out 5G networks.”
The remarks followed founder and CEO of Huawei Technologies Ren Zhengfei announcing that the Chinese tech giant is willing to license its 5G technology to an American company.
Earlier, US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper called on NATO allies to bar Chinese companies from developing 5G networks in their countries, which he warned “jeopardizes military interoperability and intelligence sharing opportunities”.
US’ Crackdown on Huawei
In May, Washington blacklisted Huawei and restricted the company's access to the purchase of US hardware, also urging all of its allies to exclude the company from their plans to establish 5G networks.
Huawei has, meanwhile, already provided its source code to the UK, Canada and Germany which plan to use Huawei components in their high-speed 5G internet networks amid warnings from the US that they could damage the security of military communications.
Washington has repeatedly accused Huawei of collaborating with the Chinese government by conducting spy activities in the US, charges that both the company and Beijing reject.