Sprint Nextel ponders 4G

Sprint Nextel plans to make its long-awaited decision on a 4G mobile-communications technology by the end of August 2006 and start deploying the system in 2008. The carrier holds radio spectrum licenses in the 2.5 GHz band covering about 85% of the U.S. population. It has explored WiMAX and Flash-OFDM as technologies to supplement its current 3G network with a higher-speed mobile data service. The technology to drive the effort has not yet been selected, according to a company statement.

2010 census takers to use wireless hand-helds to compile data

Harris Corp. landed a five-year, $600 million contract to assist the U.S. Census Bureau’s Field Data Collection Automation (FDCA) program. The FDCA program will use wireless hand-helds to obtain field census data for the 2010 census. The bureau plans to use automated systems to directly capture information collected during interviews, reducing the need for paper-based processing. The systems will be field tested during the 2008 census.

German Army helicopters get high-speed data communications

EMS SATCOM’s eNfusion HSD-128 high-speed data terminal was chosen by Eurocopter Deutschland, part of the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company. The system provides real-time, in-flight tactical video transmission, videoconferencing and high-speed Internet capabilities to German Army CH53 helicopters, including live in-flight tactical video imagery, videoconferencing and high-speed Internet.

GPS system to monitor Canadian province’s criminals

iSECUREtrac has signed a three-year contract with Mammoth Communications to provide GPS-based electronic offender monitoring services to the province of Nova Scotia, Canada. The system initially will conditional-sentence (two years or less) offenders on house arrest in Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford and Spryfield.

Live video feed connects field operators and headquarters

Wrouter launched a new device that gives first responders access to telephone service, the Internet and live video feeds at the scene of a fire, natural disaster, terror incident or crime scene. The Wrouter can be coupled with an onboard video camera, which sends live video feed of an emergency scene to headquarters. The system can be configured to replicate the user’s mobile environment to match a desktop configuration used at an office location, the company said. Users can then access local criminal records, regional and national crime databases, as well as send and receive e-mail over a secure network, according to Wrouter.