The U.S. Department of Defense has begun deployment of a Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS)-enabled private 5G wireless network. Federated Wireless is heading up the deployment, which includes AWS, Cisco, JMA, Vectrus, Perspecta Labs and Capstone Partners, and is designed to modernize the Marine Corps Logistics Command warehouse operations in Albany, Georgia. A broad set of smart warehouse use cases, including warehouse robotics, barcode scanning and holographic, augmented and virtual reality applications, will be supported by the private enterprise 5G network.
This multi-year initiative will create a 5G Smart Warehouse reference design to increase the efficiency and dependability of Marine Corps Logistics Command warehouse operations, including improvements to receipt, storage, issuance, inventory control and auditability of material and supplies that directly support Marine Corps global operations.
“Private 5G wireless networks are well-positioned to meet the connectivity and communications needs of a wide range of industries, including energy, manufacturing, transportation and others, all of whom depend on fast, reliable, scalable wireless solutions,” said Kyung Mun, principal analyst at Mobile Experts. “The DoD has long led the way in adoption and optimization of cutting-edge technologies like CBRS, and the experiences it has and benefits it derives from this deployment will serve as a beacon for others working to adopt and deploy shared spectrum at scale.”
5G Private Wireless Network Deployed at Scale
The end-to-end network will support industrial IoT using Open RAN, virtualized 5G packet core and mobile edge compute. It will use CBRS shared spectrum along with millimeter wave spectrum.
Federated Wireless selected Cisco to provide the network foundation for its smart warehouse solution. Cisco will provide a converged SDN transport network architecture powered by its Cisco Ultra Virtual Packet Core for 4G and 5G, fronthaul and backhaul switching, and mobile edge processing integrated with Cisco’s Zero Trust Security.
Federated Wireless partner JMA is providing a full end-to-end, all-software RAN solution using XRAN for both 4G and 5G networks, including advanced millimeter-wave radios, which enables it to evolve with software upgrades over time. AWS is providing its AWS Snowcone edge computing and data transfer device to collect, process, and move data in disconnected environments.
Partners Vectrus and Perspecta Labs are helping to ensure that security and risk management have been designed into the system. Vectrus, a DoD partner for logistics and warehouse modernization, is completing an end-end risk assessment of the system and Perspecta Labs is conducting an end-end security assessment.
Capstone Partners, a strategic advisory firm with expertise in 5G and Internet of Things applications, has brought IKIN to the project. IKIN, an innovator in high-resolution 3-D visual technology, is deploying holographic capabilities for locating, identifying and retrieving materials without having to move or open packaging.
“This is one of the first of several forward-leaning projects that we and our partners are engaged in with the U.S. government, all designed to accelerate the nation’s 5G trajectory,” said Sal D’Itri, vice president and general manager of the federal business unit for Federated Wireless and chairman of the National Spectrum Consortium. “The DoD, often referred to as the first Enterprise, is leading the way for 5G innovation to help stimulate market growth, helping to realize the extensive promises of 5G private networks for work, education, recreation and communication.”