BT strikes Army deal to build ‘smart bases’


The contract will see BT provide managed Wi-Fi services across 162 new military sites

This week, UK operator BT has announced a multi-million-pound deal with the British Army to deliver managed Wi-Fi services, dubbed MOD Wi-FI, to 162 sites across the UK.

The five-year contract will see the MOD Wi-Fi services deployed across every building at the respective sites, including offices, hangars, training facilities, technological accommodation and workshops. The Wi-Fi services will also cover recreational spaces.

Beyond providing improved connectivity to these areas, the deal will also bolster site security with the service’s built-in firewall.

BT also suggests that the increased digitalisation of these sites will also help maximise building occupancy for more efficient energy consumption.

In future, BT’s partnership could be expanded to other areas of the military, including the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy.

“This is another critical delivery under the ambitious British Army Digital Transformation Initiative – Programme THEIA,” said Major General John Collyer, the Army’s Director of Information. “We are thrilled to partner with BT for the Army Estate Wide Internet work – which will deliver ubiquitous internet access across our estate – for business use, research, leisure, gaming, innovation, trials and more. Another leap forward, and I thank the staff of BT and in Army HQ for their Herculean work getting us to this stage. It will make a huge difference for our people and our outputs.”

BT’s Defence team already manages connectivity at 200 sites in the UK, Cyrus, and Germany on behalf of the Ministry of Defence and have been exploring the creation of ‘smart bases’ for some time. Indeed, the operator is already working to build a ‘smart base’ in Larkhill, Wiltshire that incorporates both fibre and private 5G, aiming to facilitate various new technologies such as smart security cameras and sensors, facial recognition, smart building entry and management, digital signage, and secure printing.

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