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CHIPS Articles: New DON Enterprise Wireless Contracts Driving Cost Savings

New DON Enterprise Wireless Contracts Driving Cost Savings
By Tine Thompson - April-June 2011
The new Department of the Navy enterprise wireless multiple award contracts, covering commercial cellular providers, managed by NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center San Diego, are now in effect. Commands should be aware of the additional cost-saving opportunities now available that can help drive down monthly spending on both wireless devices and services.

Significant changes include:
• More vendor choices: all major continental United States providers — AT&T Wireless, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless — now have contracts with the DON;
• Free Devices: each plan features up to three free devices;
• Unlimited texting: added in response to DON usage trends; and
•Tethering: laptop Internet access via smart phone, a low-cost option to an air card — $10/month versus $40.

The DON is taking a comprehensive approach to ensure maximum cost savings are realized on an ongoing basis. To be successful, commands must proactively manage their wireless program or plan, a task that will now be much easier. For example, the new contracts will provide commands with much greater visibility into wireless spending each month through the use of vendor-hosted portals. This will facilitate identifying areas where costs may be managed through better plan selection or elimination of devices with little or no use. The portals will also function as a 24/7 support center and will include the ability to accept submission of requests for quotes and task orders.

Additional actions to support the Navy and Marine Corps in wireless management are underway including the use of expense management tools, and training by NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center San Diego for transitioning to the new contracts and using the vendor portals. Lastly, the DON Chief Information Officer will release updated guidance to assist commands in reviewing and reducing their wireless costs without any decrease in service.

The contracts, an ordering guide and template, and all the latest information are available on the Naval Supply Systems Command website at https://www.navsup.navy.mil/navsup/ourteam/navsupgls/prod_serv/contracting/market_mgt.

Tine Thompson is a strategic marketplace manager on the NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center San Diego strategic marketplace management team. For further information the wireless team may be reached at cellmac@navy.mil.

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CHIPS is an official U.S. Navy website sponsored by the Department of the Navy (DON) Chief Information Officer, the Department of Defense Enterprise Software Initiative (ESI) and the DON's ESI Software Product Manager Team at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific.

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