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The US Army's ongoing "digitization" process involves the networking of several military computer systems to provide battlefield commanders with a common operational picture (COP). However, commanders risk being tied to a fixed location to take advantage of these capabilities as the current tactical communications network does not provide high data rate mobile communications. The emerging third generation (3G) commercial wireless standards could be integrated with the developing Warfighter Information Network (WIN) to provide a solution for mobile voice, video, and data. 3G capabilities include variable and asymmetric data rates, support for different bit error rates (BER), slotted ALOHA packet channels, and multiple connections for a single user. We first present an overview of developing 3G standards, then discuss the WIN mobile communications requirements. Finally, we discuss the "value-added" benefits that the use of 3G wireless offers to military operations in a mobile environment.
Date of Conference: 2001