Avanti’s satellite, HYLAS-1, was Europe’s first Ka-band satellite. (Image courtesy of the UK Space Agency)

Technology Provides Easy Switch Between Satellite, Cellular Communications

Feb. 27, 2015
Trials of a cellular-network-in-a-box, SmartLink, proved successful in conjunction with terminal solutions to easily switch from secure cellular to satellite communications.

Furthering the efforts to deliver secure defense and security cellular communications in remote areas, a new collaboration has proven effective in trial. Chemring Technology Solutions, Avanti Government Services, and Spectra have collaborated to bring SmartLink capabilities to Avanti’s Ka-band satellite system using Spectra’s Hostile Area Deployment Environment (SHADE) solutions. SmartLink supports military units in need of a secure connection and mobile network operators (MNOs) who need to extend their services to remote locations.

Trials of the combination technology delivered a range of cellular services using multiple handsets including file sharing, push-to-talk, situational awareness applications, video streaming, VoIP calls, and web browsing. SHADE utilizes a Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT), operating on C, Ka, Ku, and X-bands. The MicroSHADE solution helps create a secure “tunnel” for communications in transit, utilizing BGAN, Wi-Fi, or 3G. It is flexible and can be deployed globally by small teams or a single user.

SmartLink, as a highly-portable, cellular-network-in-a-box, has proven itself within a 5 km range. Because the SHADE solutions are bearer agnostic, the deployment of SmartLink is further enhanced by the ability to switch from cellular networks to a satellite network without the need for reconfiguring endpoints. This means that if there is a loss of terrestrial service or if there is a requirement to change location, the network can simply be switched over to satellite.

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