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Naval Base San Diego Chosen As One of Four Bases To Test 5G Tech

Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment Hon...

Photo by Austin Haist / US Navy

Above: Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment Honorable Lucian Niemeyer asks Deputy Public Works Officer James Mugg about projects impacting the waterfront at Naval Base San Diego during his visit.

The U.S. Department of Defense announced Thursday that Naval Base San Diego will be one of four U.S. military installations to serve as test grounds for the use of 5G technology.

DOD officials chose Naval Base San Diego, Washington's Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Utah's Hill Air Force Base and Georgia's Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany for their support for required wireless infrastructure requirements and access to required facilities needed to install 5G service.

Robert Carver, a spokesman for the DOD, says the technology allows data to move at incredibly fast speeds, which means greater internet connectivity.

"For a military operation that’s operating a warehouse that’s supposed to support 10,000 soldiers or 10,000 sailors, that’s a pretty big deal. That’s why we want to make these things a reality by doing these tests," said Carver.

Carver says San Diego and the other bases were selected because of their advanced wireless capabilities. And, they have radio frequencies that can be used to make 5G happen.

DOD officials plan to issue a draft request for proposals in November. Answers from the draft will be used to issue a final RFP in December, allowing wireless companies to bid to install their 5G technology on the chosen bases.

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The department expects to add opportunities around every three months and will hold a gathering of telecom industry officials prior to releasing the RFP in December.

"There will be some decisions on who will be involved in the testing from industry that is. And then at that point they’ll go out to the various bases and start conducting those tests and we don’t think that will happen before the springtime," said Carver.

The first applicants will be tasked with testing 5G's capability in congested areas with high-power, mid-band radar, using augmented and virtual reality in training and mission planning and installing so-called "smart warehouses" equipped with 5G technology and service.

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