LTE and 4G are generally thought of as terrestrial transmission techniques, but Hughes Network Systems scheduled a demonstration
of LTE/4G over satellite at the Naval Postgraduate School's field event last week at Camp Roberts, Calif. The Joint Interagency Field Exploration (JIFX 13-2)
is designed to assess the potential for new capabilities to address the needs of combatant commanders and federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security.
Hughes said it was demonstrating 4G/LTE satellite connectivity with download speeds up to 15 Mbps and upload speeds up to 2 Mbps, including video streaming, push-to-talk communications and situational awareness.
Rick Lober, VP and GM of Hughes Defense and Intelligence Systems Division
said, “Today’s warfighters and emergency responders are taking advantage of new data capabilities to advance the mission, but the ability to deliver real-time video communications on-the-move with small, interoperable devices has been elusive. With this demonstration, Hughes is proud to provide an extensive military field-test of satellite-enabled 4G/LTE connectivity for video calls.”
While this demonstration focused on military applications, perhaps at some point these “small, interoperable devices” will be available for civilian uses such as remote news gathering.