Technology can help cover gaps in cell network coverage.
Mission Intelligence: NRO's Newest Spy Satellites
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
In-Q-Tel, the CIA's venture investment arm, is investing in small, flexible transistor chips that can be used to build broadband wireless networks and devices.
Lime Microsystems, based near London, produces digitally configurable transceivers for wireless networking. In a statement announcing the investment, Robert Ames, senior VP of In-Q-Tel's information and communication technologies practice, cited the technology's support for multiple standards and its potential for use across a range of frequencies.
In-Q-Tel said the goal is to create state-of-the-art wireless systems that can be used for a variety of applications by the U.S. intelligence community.
Lime's integrated transceiver chips, at 9 by 9 millimeters, are small and can be used to replace multiple chips in cell base stations and repeaters, leading to lower costs when used in different products or geographic areas. The chip can be reconfigured to operate in a variety of frequency bands, including new ones, resulting in faster time to market, according to Lime.
The transceiver chips are useful in picocells and femtocells, networks of small indoor base stations that strengthen cell signal coverage in areas where mobile networks are overloaded, or where there are gaps in cell signal coverage, such as buildings.
The chips are compatible with LTE, 3G, and WiMAX standards, and can be reconfigured for 16 bandwidths up to 28 megahertz. They can be used in all 4G, 3G, and 2G bands, as well as in unused "white space" frequencies. "Each country uses different frequencies and standards for their mobile networks," a Lime spokesman said via email.
Lime partnered with Cambridge Consultants last year on a base station that would let emergency services and relief organizations quickly establish a mobile network after an earthquake or tsunami, the spokesman said. Such networks can be closed to all but the emergency services.
The Office of Management and Budget demands that federal agencies tap into a more efficient IT delivery model. The new Shared Services Mandate issue of InformationWeek Government explains how they're doing it. Also in this issue: Uncle Sam should develop an IT savings dashboard that shows the returns on its multibillion-dollar IT investment. (Free registration required.)
InformationWeek Elite 100Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
The UC Infrastructure TrapWorries about subpar networks tanking unified communications programs could be valid: Thirty-one percent of respondents have rolled capabilities out to less than 10% of users vs. 21% delivering UC to 76% or more. Is low uptake a result of strained infrastructures delivering poor performance?
Join InformationWeek’s Lorna Garey and Mike Healey, president of Yeoman Technology Group, an engineering and research firm focused on maximizing technology investments, to discuss the right way to go digital.