Secure and Discreet International Communications

The focus of this Challenge is to collaboratively work with the UK government, to develop a concept demonstrator showing the technical feasibility of a solution capable of easily, securely and discreetly communicating internationally between UK-based government representatives and their colleagues abroad, particularly in environments that are poorly serviced, remote, or in areas with little or no infrastructure.


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This Challenge is seeking to develop a secure, discreet solution for international communications over a 12-week period. A successful demonstration will likely lead to a follow-on project.


The National Security and Defence community has numerous representatives globally who are required to communicate with UK-based counterparts whilst they are abroad. 

Their work often takes them into poorly serviced or remote areas with little or no infrastructure. This may also include countries where local governments can be corrupt, hostile or uncooperative with UK representatives and their local support teams. In some cases, oppressive states or jurisdictions may also have technological surveillance capabilities. To this end, it is imperative that international communications between UK representatives are secure and discreet.

Some existing COTS solutions rely heavily on known cellular or satellite communications systems, which could highlight the UK representatives and result in scrutiny from local authorities. However, these solutions may not always be available nor is there a guarantee of high-speed cellular or internet connectivity (i.e. there may be bandwidth constraints). In addition, travel restrictions often limit the chances of face-to-face meetings and the ability for staff to return to base is reduced or not viable.

There is a requirement for some communication systems carried by the UK representatives, to be discreet and in keeping with equipment available in the host countries in which they are based. 

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