US Army building GSM mobile network in Afghanistan

Kabul, Afghanistan. Source: GSMA & Decisive Media. Photographer: Nilab Habibi.

This week, government technology and communications contractor ManTech announced it had scored a $68 million contract to build a cellular network for the U.S. Army in Afghanistan.

ManTech will design and build the Expeditionary Cellular Communications Service (ECCS) in Afghanistan, which will include both permanent and moveable cell towers and the infrastructure to provide both voice and data coverage to forces stationed there.

Army Lieutenant General Dennis Via, Director for J6 Command, Control, Communications and Computer Systems and Joint Chief said this week that there is an over-reliance on fixed communication systems and that a better job of planning and deploying expiditionary communications is necessary.

National Defense quoted Via as saying: "The expeditionary edge... we've got to be able to maintain that."

"Uninterrupted communications are critical to our forces in remote regions," said Louis M. Addeo, president and chief operating officer of ManTech's Technical Services Group in a statement yesterday. "ManTech's ECCS solution draws from our extensive communications capabilities and our in-country support experience. We are proud of this opportunity to put our expertise to use once again in support of the coalition effort in Afghanistan."

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