US Navy Ships to carry LTE networks

Two US navy ships will soon take the waves equipped with LTE networks, US tech publication has reported. The USS Kearsarge and USS San Antonio are heading to the Persian gulf in March with a microwave-based wireless wide area (WWAN) LTE network.

The networks will be used exclusively for inter-ship communications and will not be connected to any consumer networks, so despite the fact that the Navy is issuing up to 400 sailors and marines with LG smartphones running the Android OS they won’t be able to use them to call home or check Facebook .

The devices will rather be used to easily communicate between decks and ships using calls and texts.

In addition, the Navy has said the networks will be used to tackle (naval) piracy. The aim is for marines to be able to board the ships of suspected pirates and send back video in order to provide situational awareness in real-time. This will be achieved by a helicopter hovering over the suspected pirate ship creating an ‘air node’ – that links back to the ship.

As the LTE network is limited to a distance of 20 nautical miles, the ships communications systems will continue to be handled by satellite.

Indiana-based BATS Wireless, which is one of the companies involved in constructing the network, says that the system will provide up to 300Mb/s of data. While that sounds extremely high for LTE networks, a closed LTE networks out at sea is unlikely to have to face much in the way of interference.

“What we’ve collectively developed is a ruggedized, ocean-going LTE network similar to what you’d find with telecom providers like Verizon or AT&T,” Phillip Cramer, a VP at Indiana-based BATS Wireless told “The biggest difference being that it can expand, contract, and move seamlessly; delivering critical data and communications to the soldiers who need it most.”

The LTE North America conference is taking place on the 20th-21st November 2013, in Dallas, Texas, USA. Click here NOW to download a brochure for the event.

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