Joseph Evans, principal director for 5G within the office of the undersecretary for research and engineering at the Department of Defense, said DOD has made advances in setting up the five “Tranche 1” sites for 5G testing and experimentation efforts and expects those testbeds to be operational by the fall of 2021, DoD reported Tuesday.
In October 2020, the Pentagon awarded $600 million to 15 companies to support 5G experimentation at five U.S. military bases or Tranche 1 sites: Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington; Naval Base San Diego in California; Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany in Georgia; Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada; and Hill Air Force Base in Utah.
DoD announced seven Tranche 2 sites for 5G testing in June and Evans said the department is preparing to issue request for proposals for those military installations.
He said a request for white papers was issued for three Tranche 2 installations: Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in California and Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia.
"The solicitation for white papers closed on December 15," Evans said. "We're in the process of evaluating those. The next step — hopefully late January or early February — will be a request for proposals for those three bases."
He said the Pentagon is collaborating with the National Spectrum Consortium to issue solicitations for four other military bases under Tranche 2.
"We hope those will be out in a similar time frame, early in the new calendar year," Evans said. "Those solicitations will be for experiments at Joint Base San Antonio, for experiments at the National Training Center and Fort Hood, as well as an experiment at Tinker Air Force Base.
Join Potomac Officers Club for its 5G Summit on Jan. 7th, 2021 featuring Maj. Gen. Kimberly Crider and Dr. Joseph Evans as keynote speakers to learn about the impact that innovative technologies and 5G integration have on the private and public sectors, the steps the federal agencies have taken to remain up to speed with the rapid advancement of technology, and the future programs, plans and priorities as the nation aligns with emerging technology.