What’s Next: Enhanced LTE Networks Show Life-Saving Potential

LTE network improvements were hotly predicted for 2015. It’s only March and well on the way to becoming reality – with more to come from Mobile World Congress.  As just one example, we’re proud to showcase new LTE “network in a box” capabilities here this week in Barcelona. Our proof of concept demonstrates how enhanced LTE will improve enterprise connectivity, enhance rural services, and potentially save lives with tactical communication capabilities in disaster zones.

The new capabilities were developed in partnership with Octasic, a global provider of mobile base station platforms for critical communication systems. Combining their systems with Aricent’s enabling software and expert engineering services, users can enjoy data and voice connection locally even when connection to external world is broken. Voice calls can be made to other PSTN networks and can even fall back to external 3G networks for voice. Users across different boxes can talk to each other based on local connections, and users can hand over from one box to another. Potential use cases include:

  • Defense: Can be used for bag-pack solutions for ad-hoc LTE networks;
  • Enterprise: Can be used to provide local LTE networks for users and guests;
  • Neutral Hosts: Enables multiple service providers within an enterprise or for in-building deployments;
  • Disaster Management: Can be used for ad-hoc networks to track people lost in natural disaster scenarios; and
  • Rural Deployment: Can be used to provide local connectivity in small rural areas with distributed access, in cases where central service has been lost.

By connecting multiple boxes together with a satellite connection, network users can remain virtually connected in local and rural areas, even when natural disasters and potential loss of connections occur.  The technology can be applied in both a source-code solution across multiple boxes and a binary model that is licensed and node-locked to a specific board. Features of the Enhanced LTE network in a box include:

  • Authentication with both local subscribers and external networks;
  • Data synchronization from centralized servers, vehicle mounts or bag packs;
  • Voice connectivity through PSTN and call fallback to 3G networks;
  • UE messaging support via external applications; and
  • Web-based management for monitoring and controlling.

In addition to the network-in-a-box solution, Aricent and Octasic are also demonstrating a search-and-rescue software solution that uses 2G, 3G and LTE wireless technology to track people in a given disaster area. Wireless devices can be used to search users and locations, and even track users belonging to different technology operators. This enables search and rescue personnel to rapidly locate victims with a small, portable hardware module. Aricent and Octasic can deliver this solution on various form factors including Octasic’s OCT BTS 3000, OCT BTS 3500 and OCT BTS 3600 PCIe cards running on any COTS hardware.

Also for LTE, Aricent will be demonstrating LTE-Advanced Small Cell software that enables Carrier Aggregation on one silicon platform with throughput reaching 300Mbps across two 20 Mhz carriers. LTE-Advanced offers considerably higher data rates, lower latencies for better user experience, and optimal utilization of fragmented spectrum. The enabling software supports both FDD and TDD carrier aggregation.

Please visit our booth this week at hall 7, stand 7A11 to meet live with our executives and engineers – and see more of what’s next for the network, cloud, mobility and IoT. For more information about LTE for public safety, please click here to access our case study.

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