Astrium to supply Belgium’s security forces with the core of their first secure 3G network
21 May 2013
- Astrium Services has won a contract to supply Belgium’s emergency and security services (including police, fire, customs and national defence) with Blue Light Mobile, their first secure mobile network
- Based on Cisco’s mobile 3G and 4G solutions, the network will allow Belgian security services’ telecoms operator ASTRID to become a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO)
- The deal strengthens the position that Astrium Services – the leading private operator in the military satellite communications sector – enjoys as a global leader in communications systems for critical missions.
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 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.
Together, pioneering excellence
Astrium is the number one company in Europe for space technologies and the third in the world. It is the only global company that covers the full range of civil and defence space systems, equipment and services.
In 2012, Astrium had a turnover over €5.8 billion and 18,000 employees worldwide.
Its three business units are: Astrium Space Transportation, the European prime contractor for launchers, orbital systems and space exploration; Astrium Satellites, a leading provider of satellite system solutions, including spacecraft, ground segments, payloads and equipments; Astrium Services, the Space services partner for critical missions, providing comprehensive fixed and mobile solutions covering secure and commercial satcoms and networks, and bespoke geo-information services, worldwide.
Astrium is a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2012, the Group – comprising Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter – generated revenues of €56.5 billion and employed a workforce of over 140,000.