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NGA enhancing geoint with 3G

US: The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), US, scheduled a project to give geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) to US soldiers at 3G speeds. NGA officials plan to deploy their first base station in the project to Afghanistan this summer. These stations and the associated hardware pieces will provide GEOINT to warfighter handheld devices, according to an article published in SIGNAL Magazine.
Cmdr. Robert W. “Space” Kraft, USN, the military deputy for the sensor assimilation branch in the acquisition division at the NGA, said, “The US Army is his organisation’s primary partner on this work because that service branch is making strides to adapt its technology to accommodate 3G speeds. In the initial fielding, the project will support unclassified GEOINT.” The NGA bases its use of the terms 3G and 4G on the 3rd Generation Partnership Project’s (3GPP’s) definitions. The 3GPP works to build technical specifications and reports for mobile systems across the globe.
It is pertinent to mention here that Cmdr. Kraft does call 3G the cutting edge. He believes the allure for the US Defense Department is similar to that in the commercial world: There is more demand than ever for data sharing as handheld devices perform more functions and users consume more data. Unlike the commercial world, however, the military is working hard to equip dismounted troops with devices that can access information otherwise available only in vehicles.
The NGA’s efforts aim to keep pace with the Army’s fielding of 3G capability. Cmdr. Kraft explained that soldiers have robust ambitions for the next-generation wireless network and that, “They’re a very big consumer of GEIOINT.”
As the battlefield readies for 3G, 4G quickly is becoming the buzzword for commercial users. Cmdr. Kraft said, “4G data rates are attractive to NGA, especially because it must push out large data sets. And even as it works to implement the 3G capabilities, the NGA naturally is looking toward the next step up. However, no plan is on the books now to move to 4G, and for a specific reason—the organisation’s acquisition strategy is for the NGA not to be at the forefront of technological advancement—because the leading edge is very expensive.”
Source: www.afcea.org