Samsung works with U.S. military to prototype new high-speed 5G network

Electronics giant Samsung is working with the U.S. military services to build a high-bandwidth 5G wireless network designed for speed, connectivity and line-of-sight networking technology, company officials said.

Samsung is now conducting developmental trials using its pre-commercial 28GHz mm wave system and devices; the 4G trials are performed at 3.5 GHz, using 4G LTE small cell technology, developers said.

Former DOD CIO Terry Halvorsen, who is now CIO, EVO Samsung Electronics IT & Mobile Communications B2B Business added that, given that the technology draws upon commercial form factors, the new 5G network is less expensive. Also, perhaps of greater significance, Halvorsen made the case that the new 5G is more secure.

“This brings extremely high speed and low latency. You have large bandwidth so you can use higher levels of encryption without compromising connection speed,” Halvorsen told Defense Systems in an interview.

The 5G technology, according to developers, can transmit one gigabyte per second compared to the 350 megabytes per second currently used by most smartphone users.

The 5G network, which South Korea is planning to use in the upcoming Olympics, is not satellite reliant but uses line-of-sight connections with small multi-directional antennas. The idea, developers say, is to allow it to operate in a GPS-denied environment, if necessary, with high-volume data flow.

Functioning like software defined radio, the 5G network is not restricted to aerial nodes but can also function as a terrestrial network using ground nodes as relay mechanisms.

At the same time, Halvorsen said that antennas could also be mounted on drones as a way to extend line-of-sight connectivity--something of particular relevance for forward-deployed mobile combat units looking to connect over buildings, in urban environments or rigorous terrain with mountains and high altitude.


About the Author

Kris Osborn is a former editor of Defense Systems.

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