The US government entered discussions with Ericsson and Nokia about the potential use of 5G networks to improve communications within the country’s military, with plans to trial the technology later this year.
Speaking at an event held by US government think tank Atlantic Council, Ellen Lord, defence undersecretary for Acquisition and Sustainment, said The Pentagon plans to run a series of 5G experiments “to understand what distances can we communicate over”.
“What is the latency, what is the interference, what do we need to do in order to have the right equipment to bring us capability,” said Lord.
She added the US had talked to Ericsson and Nokia about the move, and discussions on the military side was also progressing well with European countries.
“We have frankly seen a lot of our European allies leaning forward to work with us on that,” she said.
Security of 5G is a hot topic in the US, as the country’s government lobbies for allies to follow its lead in banning Chinese equipment vendors. The US believes their kit contains backdoors which allows the Chinese state to spy.
However, the European Commission is reportedly set to ignore the US calls to ban Huawei, while the vendor itself has staunchly rejected the allegations and launched legal action against the US government over its claims.
The military tests will be implemented later this year, said Lord, and they will be overseen by The Pentagon’s Research and Engineering office.
Lord added the results could also be used by the government’s defence department, which is tasked with establishing 5G policy recommendations.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back