Latvia launches first 5G military test site in Europe

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A 5G military test site has been unveiled by the Latvian National Armed Forces in collaboration with mobile network LMT. It claims to be the first such 5G military test site in Europe.

The test site is located in Ādaži Military Base, which is also the location for the Canadian-led NATO battlegroup. The test site has a functioning 5G base station and 5G coverage throughout the site, making it possible to test and create new generation mobile technologies.

The test site will allow for developing and experimenting with various sensors, defense systems, and platforms, including unmanned solutions, thus accelerating the technological development of military applications and promoting the research and development of defense innovations in NATO countries.

5G at Ādaži base
5G at Ādaži base

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 solutions for the National Guard, all of which are made in Latvia. One of the most impressive of these solutions is a training program for military personnel in a virtual environment, using a VR program created by Exonicus, together with the LightSpace Technologies VR headset, which is made in Latvia.

“Living in the digital era, we see that the influx of innovative technologies in the national security industry is a natural and inevitable progression. But the development of technologies is only instrumental if we use it smartly and responsibly to support the well-being and safety of people," Defense Minister Artis Pabriks said.

The launch occurred during the two-day 5G Techritory conference, which brought together over 200 speakers and 3,000 participants from around the world to discuss 5G rollout in Europe.

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 (tanks and drones).

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