5G wireless technology testbeds designed for military training applications with augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have been deployed to U.S. Army military bases by Samsung and GBL Systems Corporation.

The 5G testbeds stem from a largerĀ DoD initiative, announced in October 2020, which awarded $600 million in contracts for 5G testing at several military test sites across the country. GBL and Samsung were contracted to support one of the largest testbeds, demonstrating AR and VR over 5G networks for training applications.

The testbeds will support AR scenarios of real-world environments to enhance live field military training exercises. Some simulated scenarios include virtual obstacles found in combat and overlays of data and instruments relied on by military personnel. Ideally, by viewing simulated combat entities through the goggles, soldiers would experience more realistic practice.

GBL took the lead on prototype creation, technology integration, and aligning the solution with DoD requirements, while Samsung delivered its 5G solution and technical knowledge. The two companies will continue to work with the DoD to verify the deployment of a scalable, resilient, and secure 5G network for AR and VR-based mission planning and training.

The first deployment of the testbeds unfolded in a Florida-based U.S. Army lab at the end of June, and it’s expected to be ready for testing by August.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.