Securing mission-critical 4G/5G mobile communications

Thales and Streamwide to boost the security of mission-critical 4G/5G mobile communications.

19 October 2021
Joint solution from Thales and Streamwide will will enable users to deploy private 4G and 5G networks with the guarantee that their communications are secure (Photo: MoD/Crown Copyright)


Thales and Streamwide have joined forces to boost the security, confidentiality and integrity of mission-critical radio communications for emergency services, security forces and critical infrastructure providers.

The two companies will offer a joint sovereign solution integrating Thales’s encryption Key Management Server (KMS) with Streamwide’s Team on Mission communications solution.

The joint solution will enable users to deploy private 4G and 5G networks with the guarantee that their communications are secure. Thales’s KMS solution is compliant with the latest 3GPP1 standard, and integration with Streamwide’s Team on Mission solution, is expected to receive final validation shortly.

Security forces, emergency services and critical infrastructure providers seeking to transition their traditional 2G mobile communications capabilities to 4G and 5G technologies have various options at their disposal, ranging from dedicated private 4G/5G networks to hybrid networks using the coverage offered by national mobile operators.

With the enhanced capabilities of 4G/5G, Mission Critical Services (MCS) can be combined with multimedia functionalities including voice, data and video communications and position information to allow more effective coordination of personnel on the ground and enhance operational effectiveness and security.

Given the critical nature of the missions involved, boosting the security of such communications has become key to ensure their confidentiality and integrity, particularly when traffic is routed via mobile operators’ access networks as part of a hybrid solution.

Thales’s sovereign key management server (KMS) provides end-to-end encryption keys for group communications and ultra-secure distribution to all the terminals in a given user group. The French company controls all the components involved (hardware, software, cryptographic algorithms based on elliptic curves, etc.), guaranteeing the sovereignty of the KMS solution and ensuring security and confidentiality for mission-critical communications.

Streamwide’s Team on Mission application addresses the challenges of the demanding public safety environment – voice, data, video, interoperability and location services all bundled in one solution in real time. Team on mission enables a smooth transition from PMR to MCPTT over 4G/5G LTE with the reliability and assurance that communications will be there when and where needed.

The Thales KMS is compliant with the 3GPP standard, and is interoperable with commercially available MCS products that meet the same standard. It will shortly be available to existing and future Thales customers using 4G/5G technologies for their critical communications. The solution allows any two systems based on these standards to interconnect with each other.

Security forces, emergency services and critical infrastructure providers will be able to confidently share any type of data needed to ensure mission success (voice, data, video, position, etc.) within their organisation and with other organisations during joint missions.