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.