News out of the DoD is pointing to a unified defense network that will include 4G wireless coverage. Currently, the DoD operates over 15,000 networks, with millions of subscribers. The intent is to create one network, with multiple levels of security, that offers an App catalog department-wide. This network will tie into a DoD cloud, enabling cross-device data and application sharing.
The DoD is looking to simplify their tangled web of networks, to be able to provide access to network and capabilities even to their users at the edge of networks. It is also looking to attract a younger crowd, a crowd that is used to be plugged in and connected at all times. The DoD has certified some iOS, Android and BlackBerry current generation smartphones and even some iPads.
The key here is to see the DoD is committed to mobile. They seem to finally realize the force-multiplying effect that network connectivity can have for every warfighter, no matter their physical location. They are planning to use off the shelf technologies, and have already fielded over 600,000 mobile devices (the vast majority of which are BlackBerry though).
This commitment mobility and a secured network will give the DoD a leg up on other nation’s in both the kinetic and cyber environments. US forces will be able to get access worldwide, securely, and our adversaries will face a warfighter with real-time intelligence and increased operational awareness. A unified network will help prepare our troops to better confront the varied threat environment of the 21st century.