Defense Innovation Board: DoD Must Shift 5G Focus to Compete With China

The Defense Innovation Board released a report on Wednesday warning that China may be taking the lead in 5G implementation and that the Department of Defense must take action.

The report “The 5G Ecosystem: Risks and Opportunities for DoD” recommends that Defense and the Federal Communications Commission shift their focus from the mmWave spectrum to the sub-6 GHz spectrum to make way for a commercial 5G deployment.

The board recommended that the Pentagon focus on providing access to the the bands that China has been utilizing, particularly on the 3.2-3.6 GHz range. This will allow the U.S. to leverage hardware such as modems and chip sets intended to work in China, according to the board.

The report stated that DoD should encourage other agencies to provide incentives to industry that supports implementation of a common 5G network to host sub-6 connectivity.

“The shift from 4G to 5G will drastically impact the future of global communication networks and fundamentally change the environment in which DoD operates,” the report noted. “While DoD will feel the impact of 5G, the rollout itself will be driven by the U.S. commercial sector.”

According to the report, 5G can significantly support DoD decision-making processes, enterprise network operations and real-time system integration.

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