C4iSR & Missions Systems

US Air Force planning 5G communications network at bases

04 September 2019

Key Points

  • The US Air Force is planning to install and sustain 5G networks at 10 bases
  • 5G is the next generation of wireless communications technology

The US Air Force (USAF) is laying the groundwork for a fifth-generation (5G) radio frequency (RF) communications network at its bases, according to the service's top civilian.

Acting Secretary Matthew Donovan said on 4 September at a Defense News Conference that the service is working with industry to install and sustain 5G networks at 10 USAF bases in the southeast United States. Arnold Air Force Base in Tennessee, he said, led the way in August and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina will follow by the end of 2019.

The USAF, Donovan said, is in the process of contracting a next round of 15 bases for 5G with the goal of rolling out this advanced network service-wide as soon as possible. 5G is a catchall phrase for the next generation of wireless communications technology. 5G is not well defined, Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Director Major General William Cooley told Jane's on 19 April.

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