AT&T powers 5G smart warehouse for DoD demo at Naval Base Coronado

The smart warehouse concept is alive and well at Naval Base Coronado in San Diego, where the Department of Defense (DoD) is looking for ways to use 5G to strengthen war-fighting capabilities.

AT&T CEO John Stankey didn’t sound real thrilled with AT&T’s prospects of finding recurring revenue in the private 5G space when he spoke at an investor conference last month. But he said AT&T will work with large customers on private wireless, bringing its expertise in wireless networking.

The DoD certainly would seem to fit the definition of a large customer. In October 2020, the DoD announced $600 million in awards for 5G experimentation and testing at five U.S. military test sites, representing the largest full-scale 5G tests for dual-use applications in the world. AT&T got a slice of that, providing connectivity at facilities that include the San Diego base.

According to AT&T, its 5G network offers DoD the ability to scale its 5G-enabled smart warehouse solution and supports global access for DoD users via roaming capabilities used with AT&T's network infrastructure. That allows the DoD to benefit from AT&T's commercial investments in its network and avoid costly additional network builds.

The 5G Smart Warehouse project at Naval Base Coronado incorporates 5G capabilities for trans-shipments between shore facilities and naval units, according to AT&T. The goal is to increase the efficiency of naval logistic operations, including identification, recording, organization, storage, retrieval and the transport of material and supplies.

“The AT&T 5G-powered solution we’ve delivered at Naval Base Coronado is a first of its kind, high-performance, highly secure, and scalable private network solution,” said Lance Spencer, Client EVP – Defense, AT&T Public Sector and FirstNet, in a statement. “We expect it will serve as the foundation for improved efficiency, timeliness, accuracy, security, and safety of Naval warehouse operations.”

AT&T said recent demonstrations showed its private 5G network at the Conronado base delivered data throughput speeds of 3.9 gigabits per second with less than 10 milliseconds of latency.

The solutions focused on the 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) and its optimization of warehouse operations via increased throughput of data, IoT support and low latency.

Among the items showcased: How an IP camera could be connected to the AT&T private network to deliver high-definition streaming and direct access to any camera placed on the private network to support video surveillance. Another demo involved the use of an Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) solution to show the possibilities of extending AI and ML from the cloud to the network's edge using 5G.