AT&T demonstrates 5G capability for US Navy’s ‘smart warehouse’

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WASHINGTON — AT&T Inc. said it successfully demonstrated its 5G network at Naval Base Coronado in California as part of a Department of Defense effort to embrace the technology and create so-called smart warehouses.

Data transfer speeds of 3.9 gigabits per second, with less than 10 milliseconds of latency, were delivered during the April 28 showcase, according to AT&T, the largest U.S. telecommunications company by revenue. . The private network powered virtual and augmented reality, high definition video surveillance and extended artificial intelligence experiences from the cloud.

“The AT&T 5G-powered solution we delivered to Naval Base Coronado is a first-of-its-kind, high-performance, highly secure, and scalable private network solution,” said Lance Spencer, executive vice president, defense customer. at AT&T. in a report. “We expect it to serve as the foundation for improving the efficiency, speed, accuracy, safety and security of naval warehouse operations.”

The announcement comes four months after AT&T claimed initial success in 5G testing for smart warehouses — with speeds over 4 gigabits per second — on a test bed in Richardson, Texas.

The Pentagon unveiled in October 2020 a $600 million investment in 5G experimentation at five US military facilities, representing the largest large-scale tests for dual-use applications in the world. Additional investments were made in 2021.

At Naval Base Coronado, the intent is to forge a 5G-powered smart warehouse that can improve the efficiency and fidelity of shore-to-ship logistics. Another smart warehouse, focused on vehicle storage and maintenance, is wanted at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Georgia.

“This technology is critical to the national and economic security of the United States,” said Capt. Timothy Brown, commanding officer of Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center in San Diego. “As one of the first sites funded to test this technology for the U.S. military, we will help map 5G development and DoD strategies going forward.”

Fifth-generation wireless technologies promise faster speeds, reduced latency, and the ability to accommodate increasingly advanced devices compared to its predecessors.

Pentagon officials see 5G as a pillar of defense modernization and international competition. The Navy’s director of digital innovation, Michael Galbraith, said in April that 5G will enable future operations and benefits.

“We in the navy, you know, we’ve been working on the cutting edge, we’ve been working on the cutting edge since the 1700s,” Galbraith told the Cloudera Government Forum. “In this area of ​​information, there are other network capabilities, and 5G is, again, a great enabler.”

The Department of Defense secured some $338 million for 5G and microelectronics in fiscal year 2022. It is seeking $250 million for 2023.

Colin Demarest is a reporter at C4ISRNET, where he covers military networks, cyber and IT. Colin previously covered the Department of Energy and its NNSA — namely the Cold War cleanup and the development of nuclear weapons — for a South Carolina daily. Colin is also an award-winning photographer.

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