Pentagon Places a Call for 5G Technology Capabilities

The Department of Defense is seeking ideas on how industry might help the military quickly adopt and exploit 5G communications technology, which promises mobile data speed potentially 100 times faster than current 4G capabilities.

Modern warfare is increasingly networked, and the military has a growing need for the rapid, secure transmission of massive amounts of data from satellites in space to soldiers in the field.

(U.S. Army/Paolo Bovo)
U.S. Army paratroopers set up a satellite uplink during a March 22 NATO exercise in Slovenia.

The Army Contracting Command has announced that it will host a Collaboration Day in conjunction with the National Spectrum Consortium (NSC) from April 30 through May 2 in Crystal City, Va. The event is planned as “an opportunity to engage in detailed information exchange and dialogue between DoD and technology subject matter experts,” according to the announcement.

The Army has a five-year Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) with the National Spectrum Consortium (NSC) to develop new spectrum technologies. Collaboration Day activities on April 30 and those on the afternoon of May 1 are open to all interested parties, but the morning sessions on May 1 will be open only to the more than 200 NSC members and organizations with a cleared Military Critical Technical Data Agreement. May 2 will be reserved for one-on-one sessions with the government and NSC members and cleared participants.

The Pentagon plans to conduct market research for 5G technologies by seeking innovative concepts from members of the NSC. The notice will be available only on the NSC members’ website. For instructions on how to join the NSC, click here.

A 5G Race Against China

President Donald Trump last week emphasized the technology’s importance, saying“The race to 5G is a race that America must win.” He also announced that the Federal Communications Commission plans to auction off spectrum to speed its development and use.

The adoption of 5G is complicated by the fact that a leading provider of 5G infrastructure equipment, Huawei Technologies Co., is a Chinese company. The U.S. is concerned that communications using Huawei hardware could be exploited by Chinese intelligence and has been pressuring other nations not to adopt Huawei’s technology.

Despite the challenges posed by Huawei’s dominance, the U.S. military is ready to embrace the capabilities of 5G technology. The Army’s Collaboration Day is likely to be just the first of many Pentagon efforts to exploit 5G, and opportunities in this field could grow exponentially.

Bloomberg Government is tracking the activities of 26 consortia that specialize in R&D and prototyping and awaiting the establishment of a few others. BGOV clients can use this alert to track related opportunities, with 229 opportunities already identified.

To contact the analyst: Robert Levinson in Washington, D.C. at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Daniel Snyder at; Jodie Morris at