Researchers in Idaho have opened the nation’s first open-air, 5G wireless test range focused exclusively on security testing, training, and technology development. Located across the U.S. Department of Energy’s 890-square mile Idaho National Laboratory site, the range is outfitted with state-of-the-art commercial cellular equipment, including 5G radios, antennas, base stations, and a computerized core network. The spectrum-agile range is the first of its kind to be opened at a national laboratory.
With support and funding from the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, and in partnership with Texas-based Mavenir Systems, Inc., the range will be used by government, academic, and industry collaborators. Although limited 5G service is available in selected cities across the country, widespread adoption is still years away. In the meantime, Idaho’s Wireless Test Range will help researchers identify and resolve security risks and vulnerabilities and experiment with new capabilities enabled by 5G cellular technology.