France to Deploy Broadband Tactical Wireless Access to Defense Intranet

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The French Army is planning to employ commercial-based WiMAX system to support high capacity wireless data communications (broadband connectivity) in support of deployed forces. The system will support the transfer of classified information up to the ‘restricted’ level, thus allowing direct access from the field level to INTRADEF, the Intranet of the French Ministry of Defence.

The first implementation of this technology is scheduled for testing by late summer 2007, to be followed by deployment of initial cells, each covering about 15km x 15km area, supporting 440 terminals. A total acquisition of up to 30 cells is planned.

The system is being developed under a EUR 12.5 million contract signed between the French Army central materiel directorate, DCMAT and a team formed between EADS Defence and Communications Systems (DCS) Business Unit – and TDF.