A big difference between military and commercial requirements is that the commercial world can plan for what it needs, explained Vanu Bose, chief executive officer of Vanu Inc.
Verizon Wireless, for example, engineers its network about six months ahead of demand and invests on average more than $6 billion annually in its network to satisfy growing demand for voice and data services.
"The military is dealing with a global spectrum situation where the frequency allocation and uses are different all over the world.
This is also the case in the U.S.," Bose
Military training programs offer an example of how this can be a problem.
"Some of the guys who do training cannot use the same system at U.S. bases as they do in the field because the frequencies are not available," Bose
"If the government clears out the spectrum for exclusive federal use, we would probably still run out of bandwidth in 10 years," Bose
said, adding, "LTE requires a wide spectrum to operate."
LTE networks run on frequencies in the 700 MHz to 2.5 GHz range, though spectrum on lower frequencies is preferable for carriers since it can maintain signal strength over longer distances.
Industry observers contend that because 4G LTE provides much greater bandwidth-up to 100 times more in some cases-the military can benefit from this technology.
"The big advantage of LTE is, with the global uptick in its usage, everything gets cheaper because volumes of users get so high," Bose
"If you talk to any warfighter who has been to Iraq or Afghanistan, they will tell you they used their cellphones there," Vanu
"Many comment that the mapping capability on their cellphone is often better than any other technology.
It's easier to use and the map itself is oftentimes better than what the military supplies."
maintained, war-fighters need to be enabled with those capabilities in a way that is as secure as possible.
"It's never going to be as secure as a Type 1 military radio," he