No Cell Towers, Big Problem: Army Aims for Battlefield Network

US Army soldier huddle over another soldier kneeling down with a military issue netbook

Image credit: Wired

By Mark Riffee

It’s been four and a half years since Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPhone. Since then, the Jesus Phone and its competitors have penetrated every social stratum — with one exception: the Department of Defense. “Historically, we have not been good at fielding things quickly,” Maj. John McGee told Danger Room at the Association of the United States Army’s annual conference in Washington, D.C. The hardware isn’t the problem — I’ve seen dozens of ruggedized tablets and smart devices at the conference today. The issue is the network. One defense contractor, the Harris Corporation, says it may have an answer.

When you and I walk around in New York, Los Angeles, or even Kabul, we are surrounded by a matrix of cellular towers, which makes it very easy to use our iPhones and Androids. But the U.S. military can’t count on having that sort of infrastructure on its next battlefield.


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