Is Tactical LTE a Good Fit for Field Communications?

Are you interested in a long-term evolution of your tactical field communications? LTE technology has a lot to offer communication teams in military, commercial, law enforcement, municipal and similar mission critical organizations. However, whether is it a good fit and a worthwhile investment is a more complex question than the features it offers.

Is Your Operating Environment a Good fit for Tactical LTE?

Consider the weather, terrain and consistency of the operating environment. Ask yourself these questions:

  • How common is intense weather such as heavy storms and low clouds?
  • What are the common natural barriers such as mountains, valleys and bodies of water?
  • How much control does your team have over the environmental conditions?

LTE is an excellent choice in stable, domestic settings. However, it can face challenges in tumultuous areas, regions with significant natural barriers and very remote areas. Line-of-sight obstructions may make tactical use of LTE challenging.

Nonetheless, the technology can be useful in tactical situations. The U.S. Navy began using LTE in 2012. Furthermore, when combined with satellite communication in a redundant system, LTE can be highly effective even in challenging environments.

What Are Your Alternatives?

Evaluate your alternative technologies. These may include government and private-sector satellite communications, civilian cellular networks, UHF radio communications and other similar options.

Typically, the most effective field communication solutions combine two or more alternative technologies. Relying on any single solution can be a significant risk. The security of communication networks is an important consideration. Over-reliance on private-sector and civilian networks may expose you to unnecessary vulnerabilities. A closed LTE network could be a viable answer to security concerns.

How Can Tactical LTE Be Deployed?

If tactical LTE seems like a viable solution for your circumstances, it may be time to take steps towards its application. This process is often easiest with an experienced communications systems company working to provide insight and guidance.

One key challenge is ensuring communications interoperability for radios. If you have a communication system that leans on a radio dispatch console for routing LTE, radio frequencies and satellite, you want to avoid a situation in which your users need significant technical knowledge to use the system. The ideal situation is one in which the communication needs can be routed through a command and control console, enabling the communications team to manage which networks are used when.

This approach alleviates the need for field operators to make determinations about their communication methods. It can also help you make sure your technologies are used as efficiently as possible. This is particularly important in turbulent environments such as warzones or during severe weather.

LTE can be a powerful tactical-communications tool. However, it is only effective when deployed in a thought-out and fully developed model.

Tags: , ,

No comments yet.

Add your response