[Satnews] The German Ministry of Defence has renewed a contract with Airbus Defence and Space to provide free satellite communications and calls for German troops for another four years, starting July 1, 2016.
The existing contract framework has been augmented to meet the ministries directive for the provision of free, unlimited voice calling and internet access to all servicewomen and men during operations, exercises and training outside Germany in order to keep in touch with their family and friends.
Whereas previous services were based on a mixture of ministry paid free calls and services individually paid by the soldiers, as of July 2016 soldiers will get full, unlimited access to voice calling and internet connectivity in all relevant locations abroad. The new service includes the provision of media servers, giving troops free access to movies, digital newspapers and the forces broadcast service.
Airbus Defence and Space has provisioned welfare communications to the German forces since July 2011. A specific service for navy forces started in July 2015. Airbus Defence and Space provides mobile systems to get unlimited access to voice calling on the sea and internet access during harbor visits.
“German soldiers can surf the Internet, chat or make Skype (video) calls over Wi-Fi using their own devices. The service is available in accommodation areas and welfare areas, and in special locations, like Internet cafés, which are also provided by Airbus Defence and Space. The fact that these communications will be free of charge for the soldiers will make a huge difference to the welfare of troops serving in conflict zones around the world,” said Evert Dudok, Executive Vice-President of Communications, Intelligence & Security at Airbus Defence and Space.