Hughes Network Systems and Virtual Network Communications have partnered to integrate technology offerings in an effort to facilitate mobile network connectivity for public and private sector customers. Both companies seek to extend cellular coverage for military personnel and first responders through the HeloCell platform that employs Hughes’ HeloSat aircraft communications system and VNC LTE technology, said Tuesday.
The joint offering works by forming an “airborne cell tower” when used with unmanned aerial vehicles or helicopters and can support more than 100 users simultaneously. HeloCell offers extended wireless coverage and operates with a satellite terminal designed to backhaul mobile traffic from and to the network.
Wayne Marhefka, senior director of business development at Hughes’ defense division, said the company aims to help address wireless communications requirements of soldiers and emergency personnel who perform missions in remote and disconnected areas by integrating cellular technology with the HM and JUPITER satellite platforms. VNC’s LTE technology is designed to also integrate with JUPITER and help mobile network operators deliver 4G services to customers in areas where connectivity is limited.