Military IT leadership has been increasingly talking about equipping soldiers with smartphones, and now the Army’s 5th Signal Command, via a procurement run by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), is looking at the possibility of buying thousands of mobile devices in a move that could help get that strategy up and running.
DISA Tuesday issued a request for information to do market research ahead of the impending expiration of two communications contracts now in place. It plans to consolidate the existing contracts into a new contract that will provide wireless services and hardware to soldiers across Europe.
The Army’s 5th Signal Command, which manages network and communications operations for the Army, has been a vocal supporter of the Army’s mobile strategy, which, among other things, includes plans for an application marketplacereminiscent of Apple’s AppStore. On the About page of the 5th Signal Command’s website, the only content under the heading “Vision” is an image of an iPhone with various mobile apps.
In addition to standard phone features, the RFI asks for BlackBerrys, “emerging smartphones included but not limited to 4G devices such as Androids [and] iPhones,” tablet computers, and wireless broadband access devices like wireless aircards and personal hotspot devices.
via InformationWeek Government, continued here.