The Department of Defense (DoD)’s Innovate Beyond 5G (IB5G) Program is looking not only to maximise the use of existing 5G technology, but also map the path to 6G

The DoD has launched three new 5G projects this week, hoping to capitalise on public and private sector collaboration to help develop relevant 5G technologies. 

The first of these three projects is Open6G, looking to pair universities with the private sector to co-develop 6G Open RAN systems. Open6G will reportedly serve as the DoD’s “hub for development, testing, and integration of trusted enhancements, supporting an industry and federal government NextG ecosystem pursuing 6G technology goals”.

IB5G has awarded $1.77 million to the project, which is being overseen by the Northeastern University’s Kostas Research Institute via agreement with the Army Research Laboratory. 

Secondly, IB5G has awarded $1.64 million to Zylinium Research to further develop its Spectrum Exchange Security and Scalability project. 

The company recently demonstrated dynamic spectrum allocation on the Platform for Open Wireless Data-drive Experimental Research (POWDER) at the University of Utah. The DoD says that its new funding will help Zylinium to further leverage blockchain technology to provide scalability.

Lastly, IB5G is collaborating with Nokia Bell Labs on their Massive Multi-Input/Multi-Output (MIMO) from MHz to GHz project, providing $3.69 million in funding. The effort will explore key technology components that enable scaling MIMO technology across different bands/bandwidths and DoD-oriented use cases.

 “The DoD has a vital interest in advancing 5G-to-NextG wireless technologies and concept demonstrations,” explained Dr Sumit Roy, IB5G Program Director. “These efforts represent our continuing investments via public and private sector collaboration on research & development for critical Beyond 5G technology enablers necessary to realize high performance, secure, and resilient network operations for the future warfighter.”


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