The Pentagon’s phone bills just got a lot cheaper.
The Defense Information Systems Agency slashed the device rates from $7.50 a month per device to $4.30 for smartphones and tablets for used for unclassified purposes. Devices accessing classified networks will soon cost $59 a month, down from $130 a month per device, according to DISA.
A “rapid growth of new users” made the cost cuts possible, Jake Marcellus, Defense Department Mobility program manager, said in a statement. There are now about 100,000 participants in the Pentagon’s Mobility Program, which intends to provide employees with smartphones, tablets and work-related applications—often commercial products repurposed for the government. Fiscal 2017 cost projections had pegged users around 65,000.
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The changes are effective Oct. 1, according to DISA, and will be reflected when Pentagon buyers purchase the services from DISA’s Storefront portal, where IT tools are ordered.
Devices equipped with the unclassified capability gives users access to Department of Defense Information Network, known as DODIN, and encrypted email and applications designed to help employees collaborate on projects, according to DISA factsheet. The classified capability allows devices to access classified networks and handles secure voice communication.
DISA also plans to introduce more support for tablets, including a content management application that can access DODIN in fiscal 2018.