5G Challenge Launched to Accelerate an Open 5G Ecosystem

5G showing a city is connected

The Department of Defense (DoD) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) have announced the 5G Challenge. The contest is designed to speed the adoption of multi-vendor solutions, open interface adoption and interoperable components for an open 5G ecosystem.

5G Challenge Details

ITS will award prizes with a total value of up to $3 million to wining contestants. Participants are asked to submit hardware and/or software solutions for one or more of these 5G network subsystems:  Distributed Unit (DU); Centralized Unit (CU); Radio Unit (RU). Deadline for applications is May 5.

“Increasing the resilience and security of our supply chain is at the heart of NTIA’s work to incentivize open and interoperable 5G networks and increase the diversity of suppliers in the 5G ecosystem,” said Alan Davidson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and NTIA administrator, in a prepared statement.  “NTIA and ITS are excited to collaborate with the Department of Defense on the 5G Challenge because it reinforces our joint understanding that cost-effective, secure 5G networks are key to both national and economic security.”

ITS, the Nation’s Spectrum and Communications Lab, provides support for the 5G Initiative through subject matter experts in 5G and through its research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) laboratory infrastructure at its Boulder, CO headquarters.


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