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BT wants a piece of Skynet

As if things weren’t dystopian enough these days, BT is teaming up with a couple of satellite companies to get involved in the Skynet defence system.

It should be stressed that this isn’t necessarily the same kind of thing depicted in the Terminator movie series, but the shared name is still somewhat unnerving. In fact the UK has been using the name Skynet for some of its defence satellites since the 60s, so maybe that was James Cameron’s inspiration.

Skynet 6 doesn’t seem to involve any cybernetic humanoid killing machines, but the government could just be saving them for version 7. BT, NSSLGlobal and Viasat have decided to team up to bid for some of the action before the Ministry of Defence gets too carried away. Specifically they want to provide SATCOM services, specifically the Service Delivery Wrap component of Skynet 6, which is expected to be awarded in 2022.

“The combined strengths of this new alliance will bring leading edge technical expertise to the MOD across maritime, air, land, space and cyber environments,” said Ed Stainton, Director of Major Government at BT. “We will build on a strong innovation culture, and access to best-of-breed technologies to work collaboratively with our alliance partners, to deliver military-grade, mission-critical communications services to the MOD and other government departments.”

Not content with potentially sealing the fate of mankind BT, via EE, is working with Nokia to build what they claim is the world’s first 4G LTE Air-to-Ground network for emergency services. The purpose of it is to directly connect emergency services on the ground with those flying about the place. While there’s no explicit mention of killer drones, they could presumably be connected too, when the time comes.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Nokia to build a first-in-class and ground-breaking 4G Air-to-Ground network for emergency services across the UK,” said Richard Harrap, Managing Director ESN at EE. “Our deployment of this reinforces our network leadership as the UK’s biggest and fastest mobile network, and harnesses Nokia’s deep expertise in network equipment and installation of an Air-to-Ground solution.”


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