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Private Mobile Networks Trials Secure GSM

Friday, February 04, 2011 by Private Mobile Networks

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Private Mobile Networks, the UK provider of private GSM network technology, has announced the continued trials of their Secure GSM solution. With a private mobile network (PMN), a secure private island of communications between authorised and registered mobile phone users is created. Users can be connected to the network within minutes from preconfigured components with the confidence that the network cannot be used by those outside the approved group. The inclusion of encryption capabilities ensures that unauthorised interception will only provide access to encrypted material.

"Being able to make calls on a mobile phone, knowing that they are secure and not at risk of unauthorised intrusion, is a critical requirement for many of today’s business, military, search and rescue and blue light organisations," explained Chris Moore, sales director for Private Mobile Networks. "A secure network for mobile phones requires security at all levels. The network itself needs to exist independently of other networks or users to avoid risk of crossover traffic. Only authorised handsets should be able to connect to the GSM network," added Moore.

Transmission security, using encryption algorithms from the handsets, is provided to ensure traffic on the network cannot be accessed by a third party. If the network is to cover multiple sites linked over a wider area then connections need to be over secure satellite or point-to-point extensions. Finally, to handle many of today's highly demanding requirements, the entire solution will often need to be portable and able to be rapidly deployed at any required location. Trials of these capabilities are being continued on a daily basis as new features and functionality are added.

A Secure GSM network can be used in a wide variety of scenarios, ranging from temporary or permanent office complexes to mobile use by a group of personnel in hostile territory or where there is no connectivity to an alternative network. For example, a convoy or vehicles could use a Secure GSM network, carried with them in the vehicles, to communicate between personnel over the length of the convoy.

Encrypted handsets are most likely to be used in scenarios where highly sensitive data is being transmitted between key areas. For example, commander to commander to issue secure instructions between controlling personnel. Another example could relate to a terrorist situation where a GSM encrypted handset could be used to ensure privacy whilst calling government contacts over a Secure GSM network.

Private Mobile Exchange (PMX) is a mobile network switching subsystem implemented in software with all the components for switching mobile calls, switching short message service calls, storing and transmitting SMS and providing packet data (GPRS and EDGE) in software complete with translation and routing tables to act as a replacement PBX and / or MSC. PMX is a GSM product – 2G and 2.5G (with packet data optional). The GSM voice calls and SMS are compatible with both 3G and 2G phones and terminals.

PMN solutions are deployed in the UK under the TeleWare low-power GSM spectrum licence. Overseas local low or high-power spectrum licences are required. Changing spectrum frequencies periodically can add an additional level of security to the network.