US Ignite says that it has finalized plans for a dedicated 4G/5G CBRS network for smart transportation and IoT research at U.S. Army base Fort Carson in Colorado, and that construction will begin shortly.
The network will be part of the Fort Carson Smart Transportation test bed, a $4 million project that was launched last year and is run by US Ignite with funding and management from the Army’s Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC). The first job for the network will be supporting uploads of vehicle data from Fort Carson’s Mountain Express automated shuttle and video traffic from cameras which monitor the shuttle’s route. The electric shuttle began operating in September of this year and runs a three-mile route for several hours every weeknight, with a human operator aboard as a safety precaution.
US Ignite said that the CBRS network is expected to have throughput of at least 250 Mbps and capacity for more than 1,000 simultaneous device connections. It’s being designed by network design company Tilson, and wireless infrastructure company JMA Wireless’ Open-RAN-compliant XRAN solution is being used, as is Federated Wireless’ Spectrum Controller for CBRS spectrum access.
“I personally find it satisfying that the [Department of Defense] had the vision to share their midband spectrum through the dynamic CBRS framework, and they are now able to take advantage of the spectrum for their own private use,” said Iyad Tarazi, President and CEO at Federated Wireless, in a statement.
“Building smart bases and smart communities requires advanced network infrastructure. This network is foundational for the early IoT use cases we’re testing at Fort Carson, but it’s also an asset for future research and development efforts targeted at improving public safety, services, and quality of life,” said Scott Turnbull, director of technology for US Ignite.
John Mezzalingua, CEO of JMA, said that the company’s XRAN solution being used in the Fort Carson project “can also easily expand to support future smart city applications with Colorado Springs and the University of Colorado Boulder.”
US Ignite oversees a number of programs related to smart city and 5G research and development, including the Platforms for Advanced Research (PAWR) city-scale test beds funded by the National Science Foundation.
“Longer term, the network is designed for broader IoT research – including environmental analysis with air quality and weather sensors – that is planned as part of a collaborative initiative among Fort Carson, the city of Colorado Springs, and the University of Colorado Boulder,” US Ignite said in a release.