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U.S. Army to Pay ManTech for Cell Coverage in Afghanistan

by: Matthew Potter
November 2, 2010

Category: Business Line, Companies, Contract Awards, Countries, Events, IT, logistics, ManTech, production program, Services, U.S. Army | RSS 2.0

Many parts of the revolution in civil communications and Information Technology (IT) that has occurred over the last twenty years has a military application. People forget that it was the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) that paid for the creation of the internet and the basis of modern email systems. The U.S. has invested in things such as the tactical internet to aid in distributing information across their networks. There are even military iPhone and iPad applications.

Now the U.S. Army is contracting with ManTech (MANT) to install nationwide cell phone coverage in Afghanistan to support operations by that service and U.S. allies and other government agencies. The value of the deal is about $68 million.

The system is called the Expeditionary Cellular Communications Service (ECCS) and consists of fixed and mobile towers as well as support services. One other aspect of the system is that it most likely will be easy to turn over to the Afghan government upon the departure of the U.S. forces for use as a basic communication infrastructure.

The establishment of this system will also relieve pressure on more traditional communication means such as satellite radios by transferring some of the load of non-tactical or operational communications. This seems like a worthwhile investment in U.S. capabilities.

Photo from Jeff Kubina’s flickr photostream.

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