The US Department of Defense recently published its 5G Strategy (opens in new tab), where it earmarked the protection and advancement of 5G as “critical” in the long-term economic and military advantage of the United States.
The strategy report pulled no punches in making a case for heavier military involvement in the 5G infrastructure of the US, and it’s clear that China is the DoD's primary concern.
“Ensuring that DoD can operate in a global 5G environment is challenging because potential US adversaries seek to dominate the 5G market in key partner nations, which could allow such competitors to gain unauthorized network and data access via exploited components in the supply chain, malicious software, and/or insider threats,” the report reads. “Accelerating the transition to 5G is challenged by key standards, security principles, and spectrum policies that are still in development.”
PAWR awarded $2.7m
Against this backdrop, it should come as no surprise that the Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) has been awarded $2.7 million in funding by the Department of Defense. PAWR specializes in developing new areas of spectrum sharing, and is backed by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and a consortium of 35 industry partners.
The new funding will be used to perform tests on a live 5G-NR network at the POWDER wireless testbed site in Salt Lake City, Utah. These tests will, according to PAWR, demonstrate how two mobile operators can occupy spectrum in the same CBRS channel autonomously, with the help of an AI-driven decision engine.
The belief amongst the Department of Defense is that a focus on 5G is a necessity, and, according to the strategy report, the communications industry in the US will require more money from the government, if it is to go head-to-head with China in the 5G arms race.
“Increased funding can spur development by prioritizing 5G investment, fostering industry experimentation and integration on DoD sites, promoting dynamic and bidirectional sharing of spectrum, and investing in both sub-6 GHz and millimeter wave advanced technologies,” the report concludes.