U.S. military goes all-in on spectrum sharing
The US Department of Defense (DoD) on Thursday announced a new spectrum-sharing initiative that could have significant implications for 5G providers around the globe.
The US military said it plans to share spectrum with commercial interests on a widespread basis. But the details were lacking in several areas including how that might work, which bands might be released for sharing, and how much it might cost 5G operators to access that spectrum.
The DoD is one of the largest owners of US spectrum and uses a wide range of spectrum bands. The 5G industry is clamoring for the government to allocate more spectrum, including spectrum from the US military, for commercial uses.
Pentagon officials today said that their new initiative will involve making sure that US soldiers can conduct communications in any spectrum band, domestically and internationally, whether or not the spectrum used has been allocated to federal users.
“We cannot expect military success in any domain if we fail to take bold action to ensure that the United States and its allies have freedom to act in the spectrum. Implementing the EMS [Electromagnetic Spectrum] Superiority Strategy enables us to take that bold action so we are able to dominate the spectrum in all domains and, if challenged, win against our enemies,” said Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a DoD release. Hyten is the US official charged with implementing the DoD’s new initiative.
DSS goes to war
The DoD outlined its new “Electromagnetic Spectrum Superiority Strategy” in a 28-page document that details both how the US military might make use of spectrum for its own operations as well as how it might share spectrum with commercial users.
“The Department seeks to maintain military overmatch against its adversaries while sharing the spectrum with commercial partners,” according to the document. “Increased adversary competition and commercial congestion drives the need to develop new capabilities, new techniques and better integration within DoD and with its partners to enhance spectrum efficiency, maximize spectrum compatibility and ensure EMS superiority.”
Added the DoD: “The Department recognizes the importance of US wireless leadership to the nation’s economic prosperity, and 5G technologies mark a critical pivot for spectrum policy, technology innovation and national security. The traditional model of static frequency allocation is not sufficient, and a new model is needed to address the growing demand for access to an increasingly congested and constrained EMS.”
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