The U.S. Department of Defense has awarded Booz Allen Hamilton $600 million in contracts to integrate 5G-based technologies into training and networks at five military locations. Booz Allen Hamilton said that the contract “represents the largest full-scale 5G testing done to date for dual-use applications in the world and will help move DoD towards full-scale 5G military deployment.”

There are two projects. One centers on creating “extremely realistic virtual environments” for training soldiers using 5G-based AR/VR and an ” open, yet secure architecture that quickly and easily integrates with the latest technologies to provide faster equipment upgrades.” Booz Allen Hamilton was awarded a related task order last year for up to $561 million.

The second project deals with ensuring that military radar systems can dynamically share spectrum with 5G cellular systems, and it will take place at Hill Air Force Base in northern Utah. That site had already been identified as a 5G test site; other companies which have been awarded work there include Nokia and Ericsson, Key Bridge Wireless and General Dynamics. Booz Allen says that it will deliver an artificial intelligence spectrum sensing application as part of a prototype that will demonstrate a “fieldable Spectrum Coexistence and Sharing (SCS) system.” 

DoD had put out a request for information on DSS and other 5G-related technologies last fall and also awarded Perspecta Labs a multi-million dollar contract to develop a Spectrum Access System for the military.

In other test news:

PCTel has launched a dual-polarization 5G beamforming test solution, which it says enables its IBflex and HBflex scanning receivers to capture signals much like mobile phones do. The new offering uses a horizontally polarized antenna (which will be available early in the second quarter) and new signal processing techniques, PCTel said, and it maintains the accuracy and performance of a purpose-built scanner.

Keysight Technologies said this week that Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute will use Keysight’s user equipment emulation and radio access network intelligence control (RIC) test solutions to support development of 5G New Radio private networks.

In other Keysight news, the test company said that it is partnering with Aview to establish a millimeter-wave radar laboratory in Suzhou, China for the testing of autonomous vehicles using radar at 76-81 GHz. Keysight also announced its 2021 Innovation Challenge for undergraduate engineering and pre-engineering students at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), which offers a prize of $2,500, Keysight test equipment and a chance to interview with the company. This year’s challenge has two tracks: One focused on business plans for advancements or innovations in electronics design, development, testing or manufacturing; and a second that involves creating a video to introduce peers to an innovative test equipment measurement technique.

Rohde & Schwarz is working with the Industrial Radio Lab Dresden on wireless network research related to Industry 4.0. R&S’ network scanners are being used for distributed real-time radio spectrum and interference monitoring.

-Communications infrastructure company Bai Communications says that it was able to achieve connectivity speeds of 1.5 Gbps between Toronto subway cars. Bai, which currently operates a Wi-Fi, cellular and IP network for the Toronto Transit Commission, used Radwin’s TerraBridge Inter-Carriage Link solution in the testing.

-The University of New Hampshire’s InterOperability Lab has expanded its Wi-Fi performance testing to include Wi-Fi 6 and the Broadband Forum’s TR-398 Issue 2 test plan.

“Service providers will be looking to our device suppliers for TR-398 results and reports. These reports will allow service providers to better understand the performance of the developed product prior to release, which will be crucial to ensure customer experience. Service calls associated with Wi-Fi performance issues have emerged as one of our industry’s biggest pain points,” said Mike Talbert, associate fellow, Verizon, in a statement on the expanded testing. “It’s not only that there’s a terrific cost savings to be realized if those issues can be caught before devices go into the field; there also is the opportunity to enhance customer satisfaction and reduce churn.”


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