Military contractor signs licensing deal with xG Technology
Military communications supplier Western DataCom yesterday announced it has licensed wireless startup xG Technology’s xMAX cognitive network technology for use Western’s ComCase product line, which will be used in conjunction with a U.S. Army trial of the xMAX system at Fort Bliss early next year.
Under the terms of the agreement, Western DataCom will pay royalty fees to xG Technology to integrate xMAX into its ComCase, which provides secure tactical communications interoperability between disparate systems in a portable package, said Western CEO Phil Ardire. The frequency-agnostic, cognitive capabilities of xMAX should be particularly attractive to the military, which currently has to spend considerable resources planning spectral usage and avoiding jamming efforts, he said.
“xG offers us this unique opportunity to have this cognitive-radio-based modem that is one of the key things that the military wants and needs,” Ardire said during an interview. “They have a disruptive technology … that’s ideal for the military and first responders.
“Essentially, you won’t be jamming yourself, because you’ll be able to operate on a cell system at higher or lower frequencies than the commercial. That’s a huge, huge military advantage, so it was a no brainer for me [to seek a licensing deal with xG Technology].”
John Coleman, COO for xG Technology, described the relationship between his company and Western DataCom as a “marriage made in heaven.” In the Fort Bliss trial, xG Technology will be able to supply about 50 xMAX devices, but integration into the Western DataCom ComCase will allow users of non-xG devices to leverage the connectivity, as well.
“It will allow [the Army] to experiment with different user devices, even before we get to the ASICS chip level and start incorporating an xMAX chip into other end-user devices,” Coleman said during an interview. “With [xMAX in the ComCase], they could use any handset that they want that’s Wi-Fi enabled.”
Coleman said he expects the Army to begin its xMAX trials by the end of February.