Corporate partners demonstrate new 5G testbed at Mason Square


The Cyber Living Innovation Lab at Mason Square (formerly Arlington Campus) serves as an exemplar of George Mason University’s commitment to fostering the convergence of people, ideas, and resources.

Recently, corporate partners ComSovereign, Widelity, and OPNT unveiled the latest addition to the lab’s growing technological capabilities. COMSovereign has provided a portable, compact, easily deployable standalone communications system. The system could keep an entire city’s secure communication needs up and running—especially during national emergencies, said Mohan Tammisetti, senior vice president and COMSovereign’s chief engineer.

5G Testbed demonstration
Mohan Tammisetti, senior vice president from ComSovereign demonstrated the prototype at the Cyber Living Innovation Lab. (photo by Ron Aira)

“Partners like COMsovereign, OPNT, and Widelity, who integrate commercial grade equipment and their expertise with the Mason research enterprise, accelerate the time for our solutions to impact the public and commercial sector,” says Liza Wilson Durant, associate provost for strategic directions and community engagement. “We are operating as an integrated team invested not only in the mutual success of the new technologies and solutions we are developing but in the success of the training ground our partnership creates for the next generation of talent.” 

Corporate partner Widelity, who was instrumental in bringing the two other partners into the project, recently signed a lease to occupy three offices adjacent to the lab.  "Widelity recognizes our industry-faculty partnership's intrinsic value in advancing robust national network infrastructures,” says Paul Altoz, CEO, Widelity. “We believe collaboration with Mason will be a vital component in hardening and scaling our communications capabilities in the years ahead."  

During the event, Mohan Tammisetti demonstrated the prototype – a large black box that sat on top of one of the lab’s tables-- by downloading a feature-length film in less than two seconds with no lag time. The standalone 5G wireless network hardware, available as a backpack or housed within a durable Pelican case weighing about 120 pounds, features a turnkey 3GPP standardized, 5G Core (5GCN) and 5G gNodeB base station, Tammisetti said.

The new testbed will power connected devices in the lab and beyond. It focuses on portability adaptability. Corporate partner OPNT has provided the software to create precise timing for the system which is crucial to 5G applications.

Parag Singh, managing director, Widelity, says, "Widelity is a proud industry partner and system integrator to George Mason University. Via joint orchestration with Mason and our industry partners, Widelity has successfully created an organic and secure 5G capability at the vibrant innovation center at Mason Square with one common goal --- transforming our nation’s critical infrastructure and networks to provide more security, resilience, and reliability."

Singh added, “Today, we continue to serve Mason researchers in 5G network development to improve our community’s safety by facilitating pilot programs in PNT, security, smart cities, industrial IoT, and multi-access edge computing.