Telecom Lead America: The U.S. military’s new mobile
strategy may assist device companies such as BlackBerry, Apple and Google.
The recently chalked out mobile strategies is aimed at
tapping the potential of smartphones and other mobile devices while maintaining
adequate security and reliability.
The U.S. military is still working out details.
The policy lays the groundwork for big battles between
Research in Motion, which makes the Pentagon’s most commonly used BlackBerry
device, and competitors like Apple and Google, Reuters reported.
The strategy aims to better coordinate an array of pilot
programs and other initiatives already under way across the Department of
Defense and the various military services.
Pentagon may leverage the technology of smartphones and
other mobile device technologies to improve information sharing, collaboration
and efficiencies across the military services and other Pentagon agencies.
Top companies welcomed the new strategy that will help
clarify the U.S. military’s approach to mobile devices.
“People have been calling for this for years. It’s
acknowledging that the world is moving toward mobility and the department’s got
to move in that same direction,” said Dennis Moran, a retired Army general
and vice president for communications equipment maker Harris.
The U.S. military already uses more than 250,000
BlackBerry devices built by Research In Motion, and has begun piloting the use
of several thousand devices made by Apple or powered by Google’s Android
The new strategy would take advantage of existing
technology, the ability to use or build custom applications, and a workforce
comfortable with using smart phones and other devices, according to Teri Takai,
the Pentagon’s chief information officer.
“This strategy is not simply about embracing the
newest technology – it is about keeping the DoD workforce relevant in an era
when information and cyberspace play a critical role in mission success,”
Most commercial devices do not have the level of
security, access protocols and other security features required by the U.S.
RIM’s BlackBerry dominance has been eroded in recent
years as popular consumer devices such as Apple’s iPhone have their security
credentials bolstered by third-party software.
The Pentagon remains RIM’s single biggest customer.
Fixmo, a third party software provider, said the Pentagon
had recently announced support for its first Android device – a Dell Streak
running a hardened version of Android with Fixmo and Good Technology providing
security and ensuring compliance.
Recently, RIM unveiled its Mobile Fusion product that can
manage rival devices as well as BlackBerry products. RIM is planning to extend
BlackBerry-like security to those devices later this year.
Verizon Enterprise bags contracts worth $250 million from U.S.
Verizon Enterprise Solutions, as part of a General
Dynamics-led team, has won two contracts to develop and implement fixed and
mobile cloud computing capacity for the U.S. Army under the Area Processing
Centers Army Private Cloud 2 initiative (APC2).
Verizon, through its IT services unit Terremark, will
provide infrastructure including cloud assets designed to meet federal security
guidelines, and server, network and storage capacity — for the initiative.