Latvia launches first 5G military test site in Europe
A 5G military test site has been unveiled by the Latvian National Armed Forces in collaboration with mobile operator LMT. This marks the first such 5G military test site in Europe. The test site is located at the Adazi military base, which is also the location of the Canadian-led NATO battlegroup. The test site has a functioning 5G base station and 5G coverage throughout, making it possible to test and create new generation mobile technologies.
The test site will allow for the development and research into various sensors, defense systems, and platforms, including unmanned solutions, accelerating the technological development of military applications and promoting the R&D of defence innovations in NATO countries.
The first innovations up for testing will be virtual and augmented reality glasses for medical training, support systems for unmanned aerial vehicles, and computer vision and sensor system for the National Guard, all of which are made in Latvia. Systems include a training programme for military personnel in a virtual environment, using a VR programme created by Exonicus, together with the LightSpace Technologies VR headset, which is made in Latvia.
The 5G technology will lay the groundwork for new applications of AI and machine learning in the area of autonomous supply, improving the link between commanders and soldiers on the battlefield and ensuring lower network latency. The speed of the network operations will allow for massive real-time data transmission, reducing the size and weight of digital military platforms, including those that soldiers carry individually.
Latvia is represented in two interconnected NATO 5G research projects, under the leadership of LMT and with the support of the Ministry of Defence. Those are: NIAG study 5th Generation International Mobile Telecommunications for NATO Operations and NATO STO study 5G Technologies Application to NATO Operations. In addition, Latvia is participating in European Defence Fund project iMUGS (integrated Modular Unmanned Ground System) where modular unmanned ground systems are developed and 5G network tests are planned in relation to the autonomy of military platforms .