EchoStar gets DoD contract to provide 5G smart devices, services – RCR Wireless News

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EchoStar said that the estimated value of the program with all yearly options is up to $2.7 billion over 10 years

EchoStar announced it has been awarded an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract as part of the U.S. Naval Supply Systems Command Spiral 4 wireless products and services purchasing program.

In a release, the company said that its subsidiaries Hughes Network Systems and Boost Mobile will provide 5G wireless services and devices to support Department of Defense (DoD) usage in all 50 states and U.S. territories and for temporary duty international travel.

Administered by the U.S. Navy, the Spiral 4 program is available to buyers in the DoD and other federal agencies. EchoStar noted that Spiral 4 will include mobile device delivery and task orders for service plans. The estimated value of the program with all yearly options is up to $2.7 billion over 10 years, the company said.

The Spiral 4 program focuses on smartphone devices but also includes the possibility of additional devices such as tablets, IoT equipment, and other 5G-enabled devices. The program envisions device hardware and service plans, plus customer service, support, and reporting through an online portal. Spiral 4 requires Radio Access Networks (RAN) with support for Radio over Internet Protocol (ROIP) and Citizen Band Radio Services (CBRS).

“EchoStar Corporation is proud to provide the DoD and other federal agencies with significant technological advancement using our innovative, Open-RAN based wireless connectivity capabilities. Through our Boost Mobile brand, the EchoStar team will deliver critical 5G solutions, including devices from multiple manufacturers as well as a native 5G Open RAN network,” said John Swieringa, president technology and COO at EchoStar Corporation.

In March, EchoStar secured a contract extensions from the DoD for Open RAN-based private 5G networks across several military installations.

The deal stipulated the continued deployment of 5G Standalone (SA) networks using Open RAN components at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) in Hawaii and at the Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (NASWI) in Washington. EchoStar said that the main aim of the projects is to help the DoD evaluate 5G applications for military uses cases as well as LEO and GEO satellite communications resiliency.

Earlier this year, EchoStar subsidiary Hughes Network Systems announced the opening of a new manufacturing facility and private 5G incubation center in Germantown, Maryland.

The Hughes Manufacturing Facility (EXM) produces the company’s satellite modems and Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite terminals.

EchoStar subsidiary Hughes leaded the deployments as the prime contractor.

In addition to about 400 engineers, technicians and manufacturing staff, the Hughes EXM facility utilizes advanced robotics to assist in the manufacture of high-tech products such as satellite modems and terminals. The company noted that the EXM facility will also serve as a testing ground for private 5G solutions for enterprise applications as well as secure 5G networking applications critical to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).

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