The US Department of Defence (DoD) doled out $600 million for 5G testing, selecting AT&T, Nokia, Ericsson and a dozen other vendors to conduct trials of next generation use cases at five military installations.

Test sites include bases in Utah, Washington, Georgia, California and Nevada, with experiments set to explore applications spanning AR/VR, asset tracking, predictive analytics, autonomous robots, drones and dynamic spectrum sharing.

Michael Kratsios, acting under secretary of defence for research and engineering, said in a statement the trials will “strengthen our nation’s warfighting capabilities as well as US economic competitiveness”.

AT&T was chosen to provide connectivity for the tests in Washington, California and Nevada, while Nokia and Ericsson were both tapped to supply kit for the Utah site. Other contract winners include Federated Wireless, Deloitte Consulting, KPMG, Booz-Allen Hamilton and spectrum sharing technology providers Key Bridge Wireless and Shared Spectrum Company.

DoD issued RFPs for the trials in December 2019, after announcing plans to launch a 5G test programme at MWC19 Los Angeles in October.

In September, DoD sought information from mobile players about models for sharing spectrum between military and commercial users, renewing concerns President Donald Trump might pursue nationalised 5G infrastructure.