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Joseph Evans on Making 5G Work on Battlefields Overseas

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Joseph Evans
Joseph Evans Principal Director for 5G DoD

Dr. Joseph Evans, principal director for 5G within the office of the undersecretary for research and engineering at the Department of Defense (DoD), said that U.S. military looking to use 5G networks on battlefields abroad may consider adopting commercial 5G, and select components that could be integrated into military tactical networks overseas, Breaking Defense reported Wednesday.

“As we get closer to the tactical edge, and either in parts of the world where the infrastructure is … not necessarily trustworthy… or actually in a contested tactical environment against a peer adversary, that’s where we think that there’s some challenges,” Evans said Wednesday at an ACT-IAC conference. “That’s where we have to start looking at … what bits and pieces of 5G we can use.”

“There’s mixes and matches of some of the underlying technologies that we think will be useful in the tactical environment,” he added.

The Pentagon made $600 million in awards in early October to support 5G testing and experimentation projects with 15 companies at five U.S. military installations and Evans provided updates on those projects.

DoD announced in June seven more military bases to host 5G experimentation and has issued calls for white papers for three of those sites. Evans said stakeholders have until Nov. 15 to submit white papers, but the department anticipates extending the deadline into December after companies asked for an extension.