The U.S. Air Force is partnering with telecommunications companies such as Verizon and AT&T to advance the adoption of the 5G wireless network technology to increase bandwidth and network speed in support of missions, the Air Force Magazine reported.
The service chose Verizon for a contract to install 5G infrastructure at 10 military bases, including Moody Air Force Base in Georgia and Shaw AFB in South Carolina.
Frank Konieczny, chief technology officer of the Air Force, said AT&T and Verizon are expected to compete for the next group of bases stretching from California to North Dakota.
The report said the Air Force also aims to pursue a totally wireless network infrastructure through enterprise IT as a service.
“We view it as a platform to explore how the Air Force can ultimately benefit from the power of 5G and a network that delivers faster speeds and response times,“ Mike Leff, vice president for defense at AT&T, said of wireless infrastructure. “We can explore the future potential for a massive number of smart connections that can enable new mission capabilities like never before.“
The military branch has outsourced IT support services to Microsoft and AT&T under EITaaS and both companies will use commercial products to build a secure data network at six bases, including Buckley AFB in Colorado and Offutt AFB in Nebraska. Leff said those bases should have 5G connectivity as early as 2021 or 2022.