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Racing to 6G

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Written by Immacolata Ciotta

The Pentagon is engaging in an effort focused on 6G research and technologies as part of a military push to modernise communications and connectivity.

Previously, the Department of Defense (DoD) said it had allocated $1.77 million for the Open6G industrial-university cooperative. This initiative is part of the ambitious Innovate Beyond 5G program, overseen by the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering.

The institutes tasked with managing that program are Northeastern University’s Kostas Research Institute and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory; the technical part of the work will be handled by the university’s Institute for Wireless Internet of Things. The institute specialises in 5G and 6G, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and unmanned aerial systems for civilian and defence use.

DoD has been investing in 5G for years, getting about $338 million for 5G and microelectronics in the fiscal year 2022. However, watchdog groups, such as the Government Accountability Office, have warned DoD about the challenges such an investment could engender. These include high infrastructure costs, implementation difficulties and cybersecurity problems.

In conclusion, military leaders promoted 5G to better connect battlefield force and transfer vital information between them, a tenet of Joint All-Domain Command and Control.