Astrium, Europe’s leading space technology company, has won a contract to provide Belgium’s emergency and security services with Blue Light Mobile, their first secure mobile 3G network.
The five-year contract has been signed with ASTRID, which is Belgium’s TETRA mobile telecommunications network operator for the nation’s local and federal police forces, its fire, civil defence, customs, state security, national defence and air and sea rescue services, and some of its hospitals and ambulance services.
To be deployed from early 2014, Blue Light Mobile will allow the security forces to exchange vital information during missions on the ground: enriched mapping of selected areas; real time videos and pictures; and access to state security files and databases. Thanks to this private, secure mobile virtual network, Belgium’s security services will be able to exchange data on smartphones, tablets and computers on operations.
ASTRID, which currently operates the security forces’ TETRA-type radio networks, will therefore reinforce its commercial offer with a 3G solution. Thanks in the main to the operating and billing tools built into the mobile network used by Astrium Services, ASTRID will become a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO). Astrium Services has drawn on Cisco’s equipment and solutions in making use of the latest IP broadband technologies offered by commercial networks in line with mobile 3G and 4G standards.
The leading private operator in the military satellite communications sector, Astrium Services specialises in telecommunications systems designed for critical missions. It has also designed and developed new GSM services that link up with satellites to overcome possible mobile network saturation and thereby guarantee fast response, security and interoperability whenever crises or major incidents arise.
Astrium Services’ customers include some of the world’s most advanced armed forces (the USA, the UK, France, Germany and NATO) as well as the French, British and now Belgian security forces. Astrium Services is also the world’s number one supplier of satellite telecommunications in the maritime sector (transport, oil & gas, offshore platforms, etc), another area in which communications are vitally important.