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5G projects moving in Saudi Arabia and an Air Force base in Florida

5G projects moving in Saudi Arabia and an Air Force base in Florida

News of two notable contracts for 5G products and services surfaced in the last month.

First, the U.S. Department of Defense is rebuilding from the catastrophic destruction caused at Tyndall Air Force Base by Hurricane Michael in 2018. The government has contracted with AT&T to build a smart base as the debris continues to be carted away.

Plans call for 5G systems to be turned on at the Florida Panhandle base this summer, according to GCN, a trade publication reporting on government contracts.

Financial and schedule details of the project have not been released by the Department of Defense or AT&T.

As with most 5G-installation announcements, this project is selling the upgrade’s ability to deliver big-bandwidth services like virtual and augmented reality, and Internet of Things (IoT) analytics.

In this case, the new capabilities go beyond activities such as inventory management to address truly mission-critical needs. The defense department wants to move information from sensors to ground and aircraft computer systems in real time, linking air and ground crews with an immediacy impossible with legacy communication systems.

The upgrade will also address base security. All aspects of Tyndall are being linked, enabling real-time surveillance and operational analysis, even on the flight line.

The other significant contract for 5G products, this one involving Swedish mobility company Ericsson and Mobily, the mobile-telecommunications company that in 2005 ended Saudi Telecom’s wireless monopoly in Saudi Arabia. The deal, without financial details, was announced at the end of last year.

Mobily bought a variety of telco products, including transport, core, account information and radio access. The latter category includes products from Ericsson Radio System for 5G.

According to Ericsson, it is hoped that opening the 5G spigot will the “drive to empower Saudi Arabia’s government and private sectors toward digital transformation.”

The kingdom also aims to boost digital services and the use of the IoT, increasing business efficiency and business activity.

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