Who Wants a Cell Plan with Unlimited Texting? VA Does.

Bob Brewin | NextGov | July 24, 2012

The Veterans Affairs Department would like to end up with only one cellphone bill. VA earlier this month kicked off the process for a national contract that covers voice and data airtime, as well as hardware such as smartphones and tablet computers. In a July 11 request for information to industry, VA said it is considering a national mobile device and services contract for its 300,000 employees in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

The department currently uses multiple contracts to acquire mobile hardware and airtime and said it expected a consolidated contract would “provide significant savings.” To cut down on both voice and data airtime costs, VA said it plans to use the national contract to pool minutes and wants unlimited nighttime calls, unlimited text message service and unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling within a specific carrier’s network.

The department specified it planned to use the national mobile contract -- slated to begin in 2013 -- to acquire plain-vanilla voice cellphones, smartphones and tablets running on both Apple and BlackBerry operating systems. The national contract, at this time, does not cover phones or tablets that run on Google or Microsoft operating systems because VA management has not yet approved them...