IAF launches 3G WCDMA cel­lu­lar net­work


The In­dian Air Force (IAF) has launched its 3G cel­lu­lar net­work named Air Force Cel­lu­lar (AFCEL), be­com­ing first among the ser­vices to have com­mis­sioned its own cap­tive 3G net­work. It was in­au­gu­rated by Air Chief Mar­shal N.A.K. Browne, Chair­man Chiefs of Staff Com­mit­tee (COSC) and Chief of the Air Staff, at Air Head­quar­ters.

Launch­ing the pan-In­dia AFCEL project, the Air Chief said, “To­day’s launch of Phase I of AFCEL in the Na­tional Cap­i­tal Re­gion is yet another mile­stone in the IAF’s trans­for­ma­tion into a mod­ern, net­worked, aero­space with full spec­trum dom­i­nance. With the IAF’s 3G WCDMA project, we are tak­ing a quan­tum leap for­ward in our quest to pro­vide mo­bile and se­cure ‘end-point’ con­nec­tiv­ity to the air war­riors de­ployed across the length and breadth of our coun­try. AFCEL will fa­cil­i­tate real-time ex­change of in­for­ma­tion in an ever dy­namic op­er­a­tional en­vi­ron­ment that we op­er­ate in. Con­sid­er­ing the ever in­creas­ing rel­e­vance of cel­lu­lar de­vices in our work space AFCEL will form a cru­cial com­po­nent of IAF’s net­work-cen­tric op­er­a­tions de­liv­er­ing timely and ac­cu­rate in­for­ma­tion to our air war­riors. I am cer­tain that pro­vi­sion of this ca­pa­bil­ity will keep our men and women con­nected to the in­for­ma­tion grid and en­sure high sit­u­a­tional aware­ness as well as greater syn­ergy in com­mand and con­trol func­tions.

“While the AFCEL nodes will cover a num­ber of fixed lo­ca­tions, there would also be mo­bile base trans­mit­ting sta­tions (MBTS) which will ex­tend con­nec­tiv­ity to re­mote ar­eas as well. Th­ese BTS will pro­vide crit­i­cal se­cure com­mu­ni­ca­tions sup­port for voice, SMS and data ex­change and have a force mul­ti­pli­ca­tion ef­fect in the con­duct of our op­er­a­tions,” he added.

Com­pli­ment­ing the sys­tems in­te­gra­tors HCL In­fos­ys­tems and tech­nol­ogy part­ners Al­ca­tel Lu­cent In­dia and the IAF’s AFCEL project team, he said, “Our team will now take the process for­ward in re­al­i­sa­tion of IAF’s mis­sion of link­ing our peo­ple so that they al­ways re­main plugged into our net­work as they per­form their daily tasks in a more ef­fi­cient and ef­fec­tive man­ner.”

The IAF through AFCEL aims to bring all its units and sta­tions un­der the over­ar­ch­ing um­brella of 3G con­nec­tiv­ity. While Phase I of the project will en­sure mo­bile con­nec­tiv­ity to all air war­riors in the Na­tional Cap­i­tal Re­gion, Phase II will cover the rest of the bases. AFCEL has been cus­tomised for de­fence re­quire­ments and is a full IP net­work with strin­gent qual­ity of ser­vice, high qual­ity voice and data so­lu­tions.

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