The Defense Informations Systems Agency has two open contract spots providing wireless services and hardware for forces in the African, Central and European Commands, according to a report by NextGov, and it looks as though commercial mobile devices are in the running.
The new contracts not only requested European telecommunications requirements, but also indicated that a new contract would have to include tablets and smartphones run on Apple, Android and or Microsoft as well as Bluetooth capability, according to the report.
In addition, the agency is looking to enhance its networks to include wireless nodes and hardware able to connect cellular networks to Wi-Fi wireless networks using Mi-Fi, which uses commercial carriers to connect to the web.
Some, like Warren Suss, president of Suss Consulting who spoke with NextGov, would say that it is only a matter of time before agencies and departments such as the Defense Department bring iPhones, iPads or Androids in the picture. Suss also indicated that the quick adoption of Mi-Fi demonstrates a trend, that even the military will make use of the commercial technology.
In so far, Apple and Google devices haven’t been certified by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Any provider looking to make it in the fed zone would have to conform to the Federal Information Processing Standard 140-2.
DISA is also seeking to replace a network already in use by the Army 6th Signal Command that enables direct international, as well as a cellular contract.