Boots on the ground at DSEI – how technology remains the biggest question in defence 5G applications

The bi-annual DSEI exhibition in London is highly regarded as one of the biggest and most visited defence and security shows in the world. This year, we were pleased to be among the many experts, guests and delegations that attended. It was great to see customers and partners in person and discuss emerging trends, technologies, and the key challenges in unlocking the potential of IEEE 5G for military applications.

What’s next for military communications

We’ve talked previously about the impact we believe 5G and mmWave will deliver for military forces, and we know it can enhance operational capability through extremely low latency and multi-gigabit throughput that delivers faster, more reliable and more secure communications. Particularly in the military sphere, where the stakes are arguably at their highest.

From the buzz on the floor at DSEI, it was clear that key questions remain about what’s next for military communications and how technologies will enable the operational advances forces operating around the world need. There’s long been talk of more autonomy in operations, of how networking assets will extend both LoS (Line of Sight) and BLoS (Beyond Line of Sight) operational capabilities, and of interoperability and the impact this has on the success of modern missions. But how are we actually going to deliver it? This is where technology plays an integral role.

Fundamentally different: 5G for military vs 5G for commercial consumer use

For 5G, the question becomes, how are technologies already applied in the commercial space able to support military applications? They are proven in commercial environments, however 5G for defence is radically different from 5G for commercial consumer use. It is essential to understand the security implications when this technology is applied to defence operations, where this consideration is of paramount importance in protecting, people, platforms, and highly sensitive sovereign data. We’ve explored some of these questions before when considering COTS vs custom designed systems, and our engagement at DSEI reflected that this is still one of the biggest question marks hanging over the industry. The good news is, we know we can deliver it. Today.

We have applied our extensive experience across several complex and highly regulated industries to ensure we can deliver wireless communication systems and mmWave technologies providing high-quality, quick-to-deploy, advanced security networks for our customers. We have customised our connected technology solutions to meet the demanding needs of military applications for even the most complex of environments.

Supporting the delivery of tactical 5G in the operational field

In addition to wider networking and engagement, DSEI was a great platform to announce our successful completion of recent trials of tactical 5G in the operational field following an evaluation of our mmWave technologies and ability to provide improved, secure and reliable communications in challenging environments. During the trials, our IEEE 5G mmWave systems were interfaced with the networking systems of land vehicles and then tested in a variety of simulated battlefield scenarios, with the objective of providing 360-degree communications coverage via mesh networking to effectively deliver gigabit communications links between the vehicles. The capability was tested over a range of conditions, including travelling at high speed, over rough terrain and in congested environments with multiple obstacles. Our mmWave systems were able to effectively deliver the agile directionality required to maintain a reliable communications network across all scenarios.

It was certainly great to be back amongst industry peers face-to-face at the show. DSEI delivered that invaluable engagement that only comes when we can gather and discuss the ideas that will lead to the next evolution of technical innovation. If you didn’t get the chance to attend the event or would like to discuss your application and its connectivity needs with us, get in touch with us today.