Smartphones in the Tactical Environment: A Framework for Financial Analysis of U.S. Marine Corps Options
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND PUBLIC POLICY
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The purpose of this analysis is to explore the application of commercial smartphone technology in the U.S. Marine Corps USMC tactical environment. Based on our research and financial analysis, we conclude that the dual-use potential of smartphones makes their economics more attractive than the existing radios the USMC has available to it. Therefore, the business case for deploying sleeved smartphones in the tactical environment complements the military rationale for adopting this technology. Because uncertainty exists about the true productivity benefits of smartphones for different kinds of USMC users, we recommend that the USMC adopt a staged investment approach to smartphones, starting with a substantive trial of the technology to better understand its potential economic benefits. We see the combination of commercial off-the-shelf COTS smartphones and COTS private cellular networks integrated with military hardware and software as providing innovation potentialities that are well worth further analysis and experimentation. The report reflects the most up-to-date information that is available to us about the directions that the USMC and DoD are following for deploying smartphones and private cellular networks. In this report, we focus on analyzing two likely paths of smartphone and cellular network adoption 1 the deployment of a secure H2 smartphone sleeve to increase capabilities at the squad level a project already initiated by MARCORSYSCOM Marine Corps Systems Command under the MOBILITY JCTD and 2 the deployment of Oceus Networks private cellular systems to increase the capabilities of the company combat operations center COC, a project similar to one already developed via the JOLTED TACTICS JCTD, of which the U.S. Army has already initiated purchases.
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Radio Communications