The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), along with the Department of Defense (DoD) 5G Initiative is looking to accelerate the development of an open 5G stack ecosystem to support DoD missions through a 5G Challenge.

In a Notice of Inquiry that went live Jan. 11, the development is said to be in line with a movement across 5G ecosystems to use open-source implementations for various components.

“Through this Notice, NTIA is soliciting comments and recommendations from stakeholders on how a challenge to accelerate the development of the open 5G stack ecosystem in order to support DoD missions could be constructed,” the inquiry says. “These comments will help NTIA and the U.S. Government identify and mitigate the challenges in creating and executing a competition.”

In responses due 30 days from publication of this notice, NTIA is seeking input on three categories: challenge structure and goals; incentives and scope; and timeframe and infrastructure support.

As the Executive Branch’s agency responsible for advising the White House on telecommunications and information policy, NTIA contributed to the Administration’s 2020 5G Strategy that included having the Federal government work with private sector, academia, and international government partners on adopting policies, standards, guidelines, and procurement strategies to reinforce 5G vendor diversity.

“Recognizing the vital importance of [5G] wireless communications to U.S. economic and security interests, [NTIA] of the U.S. Department of Commerce has made it a top priority to engage in 5G across a broad spectrum of topics,” the notice says. “Commensurably, [DoD] in 2019 established its 5G Initiative as a key modernization priority with the goal to advance U.S. and partner capabilities to fully leverage 5G technologies for military networking needs.”

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.