With hostilities in progress around the world, countries have used flexible options to keep crucial communications open without business disruption. What can enterprises do?
How can corporations and countries use flexible options to counter discord and protect their assets here and abroad? What can they learn from projects focused on organizing and diversifying communications here and with overseas offices? The challenges are unique.
In situations of internal discord, governments often black out communications to prevent protesters, etc., from informing the rest of the world what is transpiring. There are ways around government-run and owned service providers.
Minimizing business disruption from communications outages
Crippling undersea cable cuts
The last few years have seen a surge in submarine cable cuts and service disruptions, with many thought to be the result of malicious activity on the part of unfriendly neighbors with geopolitical issues. For those with sites abroad, the two best options where available and affordable are route diversity and route diversity with multiple carriers.
A crucial project to watch is the construction of a massive cable that begins in Asia, passes through India, and connects to nations in the Middle East and Western Europe. The SeaMeWe-6 cable project was snatched away from China and controlled in part by the U.S. It is due to be completed in 2025 and will feature advanced security, protection, and advanced optical technologies.
Pentagon IoT 5G Network
While few organizations have the funds and need to pull it off, the Pentagon has been working on building its own platform as a foundation for a 5G Internet of Military Things so that every device can talk to all others. The wireless network is called the Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2).
The breadth and depth of this IoT network, which could be overkill for all but the largest enterprises, has been described as the DoD's plan to connect sensors from all the branches, including the Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy, and Space Force, into a single net. Each group has its own but has encountered challenges communicating directly with each other.
“JADC2 enables the Joint Force to "sense," "make sense," and "act" on information across the battle-space quickly using automation, artificial intelligence (AI), predictive analytics, and machine learning to deliver informed solutions via a resilient and robust network environment,” according to the DoD.
5G New Radio RedCap: Delivering more data faster
With the emergence of 5G Reduced Capacity (RedCap) expected in 2024 and 2025, far higher throughput and data speeds can be attained for IoT networks, many of which are running at low speeds with limited functionality but help manage LPWANs in vertical industries such as energy, agriculture, and manufacturing.
Function-specific wireless networks-FirstNet
After problems with interagency communications experienced during 9/11, groups sought to create a single wireless broadband network to link all first responders. The First Responder Network Authority of the United States was created under the Middle-Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. The NTIA is the parent organization. The purpose of FirstNet, which has a $451 budget next year, was to establish, operate, and maintain an interoperable public safety broadband network. AT&T won the project, with the network enabling the coordination of groups like firefighters to surround and combat large wildfires and other crises.
Enterprises could establish a far smaller scale network to connect those charged with handling crises and coordinating interagency response efforts.
The satellite option(s) – LEO, MEO and GEO
Satellite services have served as a communications staple since the second half of the 1980s. Voice and data services from birds in geosynchronous orbit above the Earth have found a home in almost every industry, from retail to the military.
Services based on low-earth orbit satellites such as SpaceX Starlink high-speed Internet access are widely used in homes, far-flung offices, and on the front lines of warfare in both Ukraine and the Middle East. For U.S. businesses with sites outside the states, LEO satellite-based services can provide a crucial, flexible, and affordable Internet lifeline – when all else is in jeopardy.
Some argue business sites should have LEO-based internet services as a backup for emergency communications required by natural disasters, terrestrial and submarine cable cuts, or worse. For sites overseas, LEO satellite services come in handy when state-owned terrestrial services are shut down in times of protests and geopolitical turmoil.
What is next for urgent communications services?
Earlier this year, a series of 5G wireless providers began teaming with satellite carriers to announce plans to integrate non-terrestrial networks (NTN) for global integrated service offerings.