Commercial telecommunication firms have until Thursday to bid for “leases” to install 4G LTE cell towers and related systems at 20 bases across the United States, Breaking Defense reports.

“We’re trying to put LTE and 5G on all the bases. We’ve succeeded with 10. We have [a Request For Quotations] for 20 more,” said Frank Konieczny, Air Force chief technology officer. “That’s the first step: trying to get the infrastructure down.”

4G LTE installation provides a bedrock for next-generation 5G networks.

The telecommunication upgrade has a wide variety of implementations.

According to the solicitation, “Many aircraft maintainers are equipped with wireless tablets to access technical orders used to repair weapon systems; Security Forces personnel around the Air Force have employed wireless devices at installation entrance gates to check identification card validity. Innovative Airmen are continuing to find new ways to leverage mobile devices to enhance mission effectiveness and improve quality of life.”

Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Brad Staggs