AT&T continued to press the military benefits of mobile technology, after its 5G network was employed by US defence contractor Northrop Grumman and Fujitsu in a trial of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities.

The demonstration integrated radios with Northrop Grumman’s tactical data links, AT&T’s private 5G network and Fujitsu’s open RAN platform to transmit ISR data and video as part of plan to develop digital battle networks.

In a statement, Lance Spencer, client EVP for defence and public sector at AT&T, argued the trial highlighted the potential benefits “commercially available 5G” held for the US Department of Defence.

Ben Davies, VP and GM of networked information solutions division for Northrop Grumman, highlighted the “high speeds, low latency and cybersecurity protections of private 5G networks”, along with the flexibility of commercial next-generation infrastructure.

Spencer separately told Mobile World Live AT&T is running a “carefully planned series of experiments” to prove the capabilities of 5G for defence purposes.

AT&T teamed with Northrop Grumman in April 2022 to develop a 5G-based digital battle network to coordinate connectivity and information across all branches of the nation’s military.

The US government commenced research into how 5G and AR technologies could be used to deliver medical care to military personnel in 2021, while in 2022, AT&T secured a contract to deliver VPN services to the Army National Guard.

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