MOBILE TECHNOLOGIES ARE ADVANCING at a blistering pace, and the old way of communicating is being relegated to the history books. The question many government customers are asking right now is, “When do we get these new mobile platforms?” The answer might be surprising.
A new radio undergoing trials with the U.S. military soon may allow joint and coalition warfighters’ legacy radios to interoperate without the need for human-directed spectrum management. The radio combines several technologies that allow it to serve as a gateway linking disparate radios and datalinks together into a digital network. The radio is able to avoid the interference and disruptions common to wireless communications in tactical battlefield environments.
The U.S. military and industry are developing a handheld device that will provide warfighters in the battlespace the same capabilities that are the lifeblood of most teenagers in developed countries: texting, data, voice and video-on-demand in the palms of their hands. Creating this information-sharing phenomenon takes more than just handing iPhones out to soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. Because warfighters often operate in places with less-than-ideal infrastructure and need secure channels, delivering these Swiss Army knives of communications gadgets requires stratospheric support.