Avanti Communications, the British Association of Public Safety Communications Officials and software company Quortus have tested a new programme to allow UK emergency services to communicate on 4G LTE networks through satellite backhaul.
Project Hydra can be deployed anywhere and gives a private network covering more than 12.5 square kilometres. It can securely transport data through a private overlay network, allow emergency services to make calls without interference and locate injured people through their mobile phone signal. The platform can also provide immediate backhaul for 2G, 3G and 4G services and be installed in areas where extra capacity is required.
Paul Feenan, Director of Avanti Government Services, commented: “Our world-first is further evidence of the quality of Ka-band satellite technology to power secure data, voice and backhaul solutions. Using Avanti’s high-speed satellite link, the technology delivers up to 60Mbps download and 20Mbps upload speeds to end users. Crucially, we have tailored this for both mobile deployed scenarios as well as fixed cellular backhaul solutions, across the emergency services sector.”
Avanti's communications network comprises two high throughput satellites and an additional multiband satellite, as well as an international fibre network that connects data centres in several countries. The company is currently building a fourth satellite.
The companies tested Hydra at Satellite Applications Catapult headquarters in Oxford. The trials included a test of TCP optimisation on end user data, ensuring the network complies with legal intercept and billing architectures and integrating high bandwidth Ka-band satellite services into mobile network infrastructure.
Andy Odgers, CEO of Quortus, added: “With 4G earmarked as the network of choice for emergency services in the UK it is important that they have connectivity everywhere. Our joint solution with Avanti utilises both our core network and satellite optimisation technology to meet the unique needs of emergency services, providing virtually ubiquitous access to 4G."
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