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UK and US armed forces trial private GSM mobile networks

The UK and US armed forces are trialling private mobile GSM networks set up by UK firm Private Mobile Networks.

The systems allow the two armed forces to control GSM traffic within localised areas such as offices or military bases, as well as providing the ability to quickly create localised calling cells in remote locations, normally outside GSM coverage.

“The solution is primarily for business customers, to help reduce mobile telephony costs and improve the limited functionality of traditional mobile network operators”, said Dean Parsons, operations director at Private Mobile Networks. 

“However, we have received a huge volume of interest from military and civil organisations that understand the value of GSM technology, but do not want to run mission critical and sensitive communications over a publicly accessible network.”

The Private Mobile exchange (PMX) technology delivers a secure encrypted private network, with no access without a PMN SIM card plus the manual registration of the phone into the PMX system

The system can also take advantage of the military satellite networks by being able to be connected to a  very small aperture transmitter (VSAT) satellite system.

Parsons said he expected the UK armed forces to adopt his firm’s system within “the next 12 months”. The locations of the US and UK trials have not been disclosed.

Ofcom sanctions business use of private GSM networks

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