DISA acquires iPads and Samsung tablets for mobility test

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Evaluation will include mobile device management software, applications store.

The Defense Information Systems Agency on Thursday acquired Apple iPad 3s, Samsung Galaxy 10.1 tablets and air time to support a Defense Department mobility test that will run through March 2013.

The DISA contract award notices did not disclose the number of tablets it acquired, but John Hickey, program manager for mobility, said in a briefing  in June that the agency planned to test a mix of 1,500 Android and Apple devices.

DISA awarded AT&T Mobility a $393,708 contract for Apple iPads and Verizon a $155,976 contract for Samsung tablets. Both contracts also cover air time.

Hickey said the test includes a mobile device management system and a mobile applications store with 10 to 12 apps. The test also will evaluate VoIP calls to the Defense Information Systems Network and enterprise email. In April 2013, Hickey said DISA will test a mix of 6,500 Android and Apple devices over multiple carriers worldwide along with a beefed-up apps store.

These tests support the Defense mobile strategy released in June, which Pentagon Chief Information Officer Teresa Takai described as a blueprint that will take advantage of “existing technology, the ability to use or build custom apps, and a workforce increasingly comfortable with mobile devices.

“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,” Takai added.