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DISA awards iPad, Galaxy tablet contracts

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The Defense Information Systems Agency awarded Sept. 26 two contracts for tablet devices to be used in a Defense Department mobility pilot. 

AT&T Mobility received a $393,708 award for third-generation iPads with 4G capability and 32 gigabytes of storage. Verizon Wireless secured a $155,976 contract for Samsung Galaxy 10.1 tablets with 16 GB of storage. Both contracts, posted to FedBizOpps Oct. 4, also cover carrier access.

In an explanation (.docx) of why the contract competition was not fully open, DISA notes that only AT&T, Verizon and Sprint support Defense Information Systems Network services. It also noted the mobile device management capabilities that Apple and Samsung provide on their devices. In particular, DISA highlighted Samsung's partnership with MDM market leaders to provide such tools on its devices.

The contracts are part of the third phase of DISA's mobility project, which runs from November 2012 to March 2013 and includes a goal to deploy 1,500 Android and iOS mobile devices. By the end of the phase, DISA intends to have deployed 10 to 12 enterprise apps on an initial app store, the agency said (.pdf) in June.

The competition was also limited because the three carriers control the majority of continental U.S. cell towers. The agency says that in the second phase of the mobility project, there have been problems with cell coverage and smaller carriers do not have enough cell towers to provide the service it needs.

The final phase of the project is planned to run from April to August 2013 and culminate in DISA having deployed 6,500 Android and iOS devices. By then, the agency intends to have completed an app store and instituted an MDM solution.

For the final phase DISA can open competition up among the carriers' resellers, which it calls a "major breakthrough" compared to the first two phases of the mobility project.

For more:
- go to the AT&T award notification on FedBizOpps 
- go to the Verizon award notification on FedBizOpps 
- download DISA's justification for other than full and open competition (.docx)

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