The US Department of Defense (DoD) has announced the launch of three new projects under its Innovate Beyond 5G (IB5G) programme.

The projects will be taken up by the DoD in collaboration with the industry and academia.

According to IB5G programme director Dr Sumit Roy, the projects are part of the DoD’s efforts to advance 5G-to-NextG wireless technologies and concept demonstrations.

Roy said: “These efforts represent our continuing investments via public and private sector collaboration on research and development for critical Beyond 5G technology enablers necessary to realise high performance, secure, and resilient network operations for the future warfighter.”

Open6G is one of the three IB5G projects that will support 6G systems research on open radio access networks (Open RAN).      

Led by IB5G’s $1.77m anchor award, the project is managed by Northeastern University’s Kostas Research Institute, through a cooperative agreement with the Army Research Laboratory.

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The technical research will be conducted at the Northeastern University’s Institute for Wireless Internet of Things. 

Open6G will work on Open RAN research and open-source implementation of 5G protocol stack features.

The project will act as the DoD’s hub for development, testing, and integration of enhancements under the NextG ecosystem.

The second IB5G project is with Zylinium Research for Spectrum Exchange Security and Scalability.

In response to the project’s need, Zylinium Research developed a network service appliance called Spectrum Exchange to receive and allocate spectrum resources.    

Zylinium’s Spectrum Exchange research received $1.64m of funding from the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E)).

IB5G has collaborated with Nokia Bell Labs for its third project.  

The $3.69m Massive Multi-Input/Multi-Output (MIMO) from MHz to GHz project is funded by OUSD (R&E) and IB5G.

The project will focus on vital technology components to support MIMO scaling across bands/bandwidths and DoD-oriented uses. 

In March this year, the DoD formed a 5G and FutureG cross-functional team (CFT) to expedite the adoption of transformative 5G and future generation wireless networking technologies.