...of private communications services to French forces deployed on overseas operations. Based on a scope of work drawn up by Army Chief of Staff of the French Ministry of Defence, the framework agreement is broken down into separate annual agreements for each theatre of operation. As it was already delivering under the previous Passerel contract, this means Astrium Services will continue to supply fixed-telephony and Internet-access services via satellite and terrestrial links to French troops on overseas operations (OPEX). Thanks to the installation of a dedicated GSM infrastructure at military bases, this latest contract also covers the delivery of new services including as mobile telephony. In addition, Astrium will provide professional telecommunications services to military staff deployed on operations.
Astrium Services has been delivering Passerel services since 2007, in addition to similar services to the British MoD since 1999 (WelComE – Welfare Communications Everywhere), the Bundeswehr since 2011 (Connect-D), the Republic of Ireland’s UN peacekeeping troops since 2009 and the Belgian military since 2012 (BMSP – Belgian Military Social Phony). Astrium Services has already provided French troops with more than six million phone minutes and nearly 100 million megabytes of data in 2011 alone, as well as 1.7 million SMS texts to German troops.