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Thales selected to study military uses of LTE broadband communications standard


The French defence procurement agency (DGA) has awarded Thales the ALTEA(1) study contract to analyse the LTE(2) standard and its use by the French armed forces. The technical and operational study will identify the potential capability gains of commercial LTE technology for French land, air and naval forces on domestic and expeditionary operations in collaboration with security forces.

The 10-month study will be conducted in two phases. The first phase will analyse technical and commercial aspects of the LTE standard and its compatibility with military usage. The second will focus on the research and study of specific solutions that use LTE technology.

Once concluded, the study will provide decision-makers with insights into the range of options available and their impact on programme costs, timeframes and risks.

LTE technology at the heart of the defence-security continuum

Thales is recognised for its ability to exploit synergies between civil and military technologies. This study of the LTE standard, the latest technology used by civil communications networks, fits perfectly with the Group’s strategic positioning across the defence-security continuum.

Large numbers of commercial operators have adopted LTE technology to increase network capacity and in turn meet the demand generated by new usage patterns and bandwidth-intensive applications, such as streaming video.

With the increasing use of information systems by the armed forces, LTE is the prime candidate for meeting operational demand for high-data-rate communications. However, this civil technology must be adapted to the military environment, where operating conditions are more severe and performance requirements are more stringent.

This study is part of Thales’s broader involvement in developing the tactical communication capabilities of the future. In 2012, the Group was awarded a contract with the French defence procurement agency (DGA) for the CONTACT programme (COmmunications Numérisées TACtiques et de Théâtre) to provide next-generation radio systems for the French armed forces. This programme is a prime illustration of Thales’s technological excellence in military communications.

Thales and military communications

Thales is the leading provider of military communication solutions, including tactical radio systems, resilient networks, secure satellite communications and professional mobile radio (PMR).

In the PMR segment, Thales offers innovative capabilities for small- and large-scale networks, providing high-performance, reliable and flexible solutions to secure flows of critical information. Based on a distributed architecture, these solutions incorporate the first high-data-rate applications in the marketplace and can be tailored to the voice, text and data requirements of specific groups of professional users. As one of the pioneers of LTE-based solutions, Thales has developed a secure, resilient solution for mission-critical applications.

Some 30 countries to date have chosen Thales PMR solutions for public safety, transportation, airport security and applications in industry and the oil and gas sector.

(1) ALTEA: Analyse de la norme LTE et son exploitation au sein des forces Armées

(2) LTE (Long Term Evolution) or 4G is the latest generation of standards for mobile telephony


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