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NTIA’s Institute for Telecommunication Sciences Issues Notice of Inquiry Exploring “5G Challenge” on Behalf of Department of Defense

January 11, 2021

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WASHINGTON – Today, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) in Boulder, Colo., issued a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) in cooperation with the Department of Defense (DoD) to explore a “5G Challenge” aiming to accelerate the development of an open source 5G ecosystem that can support DoD missions. A 5G Challenge would leverage the innovative capabilities of the software development and communications technology communities to enable open source implementations of a 5G system, including end-user equipment, the radio access network and the core network, with a focus on the 5G protocol stack software.

The NOI exploring the potential of a “5G Challenge” asks how to design incentives within the challenge to assure cooperation, collaboration, and interoperability among the participants, as well as how to define metrics for successful and innovative responses to the 5G Challenge. Comments are due on or before 5 p.m. Eastern Time on February 10, 2021, and may be submitted by email to

“Fifth-generation wireless networks are poised to transform America’s economic and national security for years to come. ITS’ unique capabilities make it a perfect partner as the Department of Defense pursues cutting edge, innovative 5G applications,” said Carolyn Roddy, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information, performing the delegated duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information.

ITS, the Nation’s Spectrum and Communications Lab, supports the Department of Defense 5G Initiative through a combination of its subject matter experts in 5G and its Boulder research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) laboratory infrastructure, including the Advanced Communications Test Site at the Table Mountain Radio Quiet Zone.