The DoD, in collaboration with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) [1.] have launched the 5G Challenge Preliminary Event: RAN Subsystem Interoperability. This competition aims to accelerate the development and adoption of open interfaces, interoperable components, and multi-vendor solutions toward the development of an open 5G ecosystem.
Note 1. ITS, the Nation’s Spectrum and Communications Lab, supports the Department of Defense 5G Initiative through a combination of its subject matter experts in 5G and its research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) laboratory infrastructure in Boulder, Colorado, including the Advanced Communications Test Site at the Table Mountain Radio Quiet Zone.
“The Department is committed to supporting innovation efforts that accelerate the domestic development of 5G and Future G technologies. 5G is too critical a technology sector to relinquish to countries whose products and technologies are not aligned with our standards of privacy and security. We will continue our support of all necessary efforts to unleash innovation while developing secure 5G supply chains,” said Amanda Toman, Acting Principal Director, 5G-Future G.
“Increasing the resilience and security of our supply chain is at the heart of NTIA’s work to incentivize open and interoperable 5G networks and increase the diversity of suppliers in the 5G ecosystem,” said Alan Davidson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator. “NTIA and ITS are excited to collaborate with the Department of Defense on the 5G Challenge because it reinforces our joint understanding that cost-effective, secure 5G networks are key to both national and economic security.”
Today, most wireless networks are operated by mobile network operators and composed of many vendor-specific proprietary solutions. Each discrete element typically contains custom, closed-source software and hardware. This industry dynamic increases costs, slows innovation, and reduces competition, often making security issues difficult to detect and resolve. The 5G Challenge aims to foster a large, vibrant, and diverse vendor community dedicated to advancing 5G interoperability towards true plug-and-play operation, and unleashing a new era of technological innovation based on this critical technology.
This 5G Challenge Preliminary Event: RAN Subsystem Interoperability will award up to $3,000,000 to participants who submit hardware and/or software solutions for any or all of the following 5G network subsystems, which must be compliant with the 3GPP Release 15 and O-RAN Alliance specifications: Distributed Unit (DU), Central Unit (CU), and Radio Unit (RU). Interoperability is open for applications through May 5, 2022. For applications and additional information on this 2022 contest, please visit www.challenge.gov.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), located within the Department of Commerce, is the Executive Branch agency that is principally responsible by law for advising the U.S. President on telecommunications and information policy issues. NTIA’s programs and policymaking focus largely on expanding broadband Internet access and adoption in America, expanding the use of spectrum by all users, and ensuring that the Internet remains an engine for continued innovation and economic growth.
The Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (USD(R&E) is the Chief Technology Officer of the Department of Defense. The USD(R&E) champions research, science, technology, engineering, and innovation to maintain the United States military’s technological advantage. Learn more at www.cto.mil, follow us on Twitter @DoDCTO, or visit us on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/ousdre.