Samsung has kicked off a series of tests for 5G wireless networks in collaboration with the United States military in an effort to advance the development of high-bandwidth connectivity for warfighters. The trials are making use of Samsung’s pre-commercial 28GHz mm wave system, with the 4G tests leveraging the LTE small cell technology and being conducted at 3.5 GHz, recent reports indicate. In addition, the 5G wireless network does not depend on satellites to transmit bandwidth, but instead uses small antennas to distribute connections to far-flung locations. That makes it possible for the network to work with a high data speed even in areas where GPS (Global Positioning System) is limited.
According to Terry Halvorsen, former chief information officer (CIO) of the United States Defense Department and now CIO of Samsung Electronics IT & Mobile Communications B2B unit, the 5G network could cost less since it uses commercial technology and that it has an additional layer of protection because of the higher level of encryption that comes with the large bandwidth, adding that this results in high speed and low latency. In theory, a 5G network is capable of transmitting one gigabyte per second, though in practice the case could be slightly different due to several factors such as interference and latency, among others. Nonetheless, the technology presents a huge leap from the existing 350 megabytes per second of speed for most mobile devices today. Line-of-sight connectivity, however, does have its share of problems such as terrestrial barriers, but Halvorsen said Samsung could make use of unmanned aerial systems where antennas can be attached to so that the network’s scope can be extended, especially when combat forces need to connect from remote areas with varying altitudes.
Last September, the South Korean tech giant also kicked off its lab and field tests for 5G wireless network with the use of Samsung’s 28GHz system and devices across various locations in the U.S. in partnership with Charter Communications. The developmental trials involving the fifth generation of mobile networks are part of Samsung’s broader effort to beef up its position in the U.S. wireless market as the company seeks to grow its business over the long term.