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Australian Defense Department to Provide VoIP-enabled PCs to Troops


TMCnews Featured Article

September 09, 2010

Australian Defense Department to Provide VoIP-enabled PCs to Troops

By Raja Singh Chaudhary, TMCnet Contributor

The defense department of Australia is going to enable its troops to make VoIP calls to their friends and family. According to Computerworld, the personnel deployed in foreign countries or patrolling Australia's border will soon be able to access VoIP via a Wi-Fi-enabled PC. The website claims to obtain some defense documents on the project that reveal that the defense department has taken the new initiative as a step to boost the morale of the Australian troops.

Current-generation Australians utilize the Internet for many reasons including communicating with friends and family via email, instant messaging or VoIP; and the Australian Defense Force personnel are no different as the provision of these services to deployed forces is seen as a major contributor to morale and an extension of its existing amenities support.

Initially, the Australian Defense department will assign a total of 370 computers to the country's armed forces, while one computer will be sufficient for ten soldiers. All of these PCs will be equipped with a minimum bandwidth of 56kbps per user, and will enable the troops to use word processing packages and access music and videos as well, featuring several software solutions supporting Microsoft (News - Alert) Word format documents, Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, PDF files, MP3 format music and MPEG and Flash videos.

The initiative will benefit around 3300 Australian troops currently serving in 13 overseas operations, along with approximately 500 domestic personnel who will now be able to email or call home using VoIP telephony, apart from updating their iPods or other similar devices. At each overseas location, one wireless-internet capable fixed PC will be deployed for every ten deployed personnel. The PCs will also include instant messaging and VoIP software as well as VoIP hardware and Apple’s (News - Alert) iTunes. To ensure security from potential online threats and attacks, commercially available anti-virus and anti-malware software solutions will also be installed upon these consoles. The troops of Australia have been serving in a number of overseas locations, which include East Timor, the Solomon Islands, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, Egypt, and Iraq to name a few.

In August 2009, Siemens Enterprise Communications (News - Alert) Group announced that Anglicare Australia, an Anglican church-based network of advocacy and charity organizations caring for people in need, selected the company’s voice and data connectivity to provide IT infrastructure and Voice over IP telephony.

Raja Singh Chaudhary is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Raja's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Juliana Kenny

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