Federated Wireless put a private 5G network through its paces during a demonstration at a US Marine Corps base in April, part of preparations to fulfil a US Department of Defence (DoD) initiative to build an open next-generation sector.

The demonstration took place across several US Marine Corps Logistics Base warehouses.

Federated Wireless CTO Kurt Schaubach told Mobile World Live the goal of the DoD’s 5G-to-Next G Initiative is to use the latest technologies and services by building a market of domestic vendors.

Schaubach said the test network used radios from vendor JMA Wireless along with a Cisco multi-tenant packet core and security architecture.

The packet core sits on-premises to deliver multi-gigabit, low-latency data rates of less than 15 milliseconds on CBRS and mmWave spectrum.

Schaubach said the vendor’s spectrum controller provides an automated sharing framework using an API which connects usage information on small cells to AWS’ public cloud infrastructure.

The API receives authorisation for the small cells to operate “on a certain range of frequencies, with a certain amount of bandwidth and a certain amount of transmit power”.

“We regularly maintain those assignments and update them so that each use is coordinated and interference free.”

The 5G-enabled IoT applications include real-time robotics providing route optimisation, maintenance and analytics for autonomous fork-lift trucks, robots and guided vehicles.

Smart security cameras stream and store footage for asset tracking, base security and staff authentication.

There are also scanners on equipment to help with inventory and asset management, along with providing input for operations heat mapping.

Schaubach said consultancy KPMG was responsible for developing services.

The set-up is due to go live in July: Schaubach is optimistic it will be implemented at additional DoD facilities in future.

He added the trial is one of the only projects in a broader scheme to develop military services on 5G to be given government approval to operate.

“A lot of the other initiatives were discontinued after their funding ran out.”

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