Europe’s first 5G military test bed

The first 5G military test bed in Europe launched by LMT ​​in close collaboration with the Latvian National Armed Forces.

Challenge

As technologies advance, so does the spectrum of potential threats. Developing innovations is crucial to providing the needed defence capabilities in the 21st century, and 5G networks are a real game-changer for the field. However, developing trusted 5G solutions for defence is not an easy task as they require thorough testing in specific conditions. Thus, a dedicated 5G military test bed is urgently needed to enable 5G-powered defence solutions.

Accelerating 5G innovations through collaborative endeavors

In 2020, LMT launched the first 5G military test bed in Europe, in close collaboration with the Latvian National Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Latvia. It’s located in the Adazi military base, which is also the location for the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group. 

LMT provided the 5G military test bed with a functioning 5G base station and 5G coverage throughout it, contributing to an ecosystem for developing and testing new generation mobile technologies, such as various sensors, defence systems, platforms, including unmanned solutions.

The test bed provides an R&D environment for the accelerated development of 5G-enabled military and general tech use cases, which is of particular importance for Latvia – an EU and NATO member state and border country that stands to directly benefit from improved NATO security solutions.

5G-powered military training and solutions

The wide range of applications of 5G can provide various improvements for end-users in the defence industry. The 5G military test bed has already demonstrated its ability to enhance 5G innovations such as training for military medical personnel. At the bed’s launch, the Latvian National Armed Forces tested the Exonicus Trauma Simulator using augmented reality headsets by LightSpace Technologies. Such medical trauma simulation training provides medics the ability to gain field experience without real-life casualties.

In September 2021, the 5G military test bed hosted a demonstration showcasing 5G autonomous military solutions. The demonstration was organized within the scope of iMUGS, a European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) project. It was led by LMT, one of the project’s consortium members, ​​with the support of the Latvian National Armed Forces and the project coordinator Milrem Robotics. Thus, the 5G military test bed is highly beneficial for the partners of the iMUGS project and other international initiatives as it allows exploring military and public safety innovation opportunities presented by LMT’s 5G network.

Additionally, the 5G military test bed serves as a playground for future R&D projects and benefits LMT partner organizations providing them with a unique possibility to develop solutions in collaboration with LMT, MikroTik – a global leader on routing –, and academia.

Further steps

It’s planned to advance the 5G military test bed with more 5G network capabilities, such as developing a private LTE network for the bed to provide complete autonomy. Such advancement will allow testing more use cases in the future, for example, C2, battlefield information management system, 5G positioning, 5G-enabled AR & VR for military training, and others. 

Defence innovations are becoming more open and, as a result, participation in collaborative initiatives isn’t limited to defence specialists – MNOs, telco/network manufacturers, AI/ML specialists, and others are welcome to join in developing 5G-powered defence solutions. Therefore, LMT is open to establishing new partnerships to develop and test new 5G-enabled military use cases. 

Contact LMT for more information on this collaboration project.

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