The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has demonstrated a suite of “smart warehouse” solutions using fifth generation (5G) wireless data networks, technology provider AT&T said Tuesday.
In the demo at Naval Base Coronado in San Diego, AT&T installed a private 5G network on the site to showcase the benefits of 5G platforms over legacy technology like the 3G and 4G systems used by most smartphones and connected devices today. In the project, the faster speed and shorter latency of 5G enabled applications such as virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR), video surveillance, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), and improved cybersecurity.
According to AT&T, the DoD is using the smart warehouse project to increase the efficiency and fidelity of naval logistics operations including identification, recording, organization, storage, retrieval, and the transportation of materiel and supplies. Future applications will support the defense department's objectives of leveraging 5G for smart operations and vastly increased asset visibility, the company said.
The demonstration follows a 2020 DoD move to award $600 million in awards for 5G experimentation and testing at five U.S. military test sites. That investment led to a ribbon-cutting in April at the warehouse project in San Diego to demonstrate a use-case incorporating 5G capabilities for transshipments between shore facilities and naval units, the DoD said.
Specific technologies in the current 5G trial include:
"The AT&T 5G-powered solution we've delivered at Naval Base Coronado is a first of its kind, high-performance, highly secure, and scalable private network solution. We expect it will serve as the foundation for improved efficiency, timeliness, accuracy, security, and safety of Naval warehouse operations," Lance Spencer, Client Executive Vice President – Defense, AT&T Public Sector and FirstNet, said in a release.