Case: The Finnish Defence Forces
Digital barracks enabled by a properly operating wireless network
Army barracks are digitizing rapidly, which calls for a properly operating network connection. For example, the "Information services for draftees" project of the Finnish Defense Forces makes the draftees' weekly schedule available online – until now, it has been put up on the garrison's bulletin board. You can now also apply for leave online and post an online note if your gear is lost.
Until now, garrisons have used a range of solutions to provide network access for draftees. Of course, when online services are made available for draftees, they also need access to a free-of-charge digital infrastructure. These requirements are met by a WLAN connection provided by Sonera and Cygate.
Today, Sonera and Cygate provide WLAN access for 15 garrisons. The number of these will increase as agreements on current, garrison-specific solutions terminate. Garrisons with WLAN access are interconnected, so the draftees and army personnel can log in using the same usernames and passwords regardless of the garrison. Access management is centralized. There is enough capacity for a large number of users and a centralized firewall service provided from Sonera's data center enables secure surfing.
"The WLAN solution is a seamless entity provided by two vendors, Sonera and Cygate," says Pasi Mäkinen, project manager at Cygate, who is in charge of the safety authorities' projects. "For this solution, Cygate acts as the customer's contact center, and there are two service managers dealing with the customer: one from Sonera and the other from Cygate. Sonera implements the backbone network solution and provides the firewall services, whereas Cygate is responsible for the garrisons' WLAN and the network control services," Mäkinen continues.
The service clubs of the garrisons covered by the service have a visitor WLAN for all visitors. The draftees can use the WLAN not only in rooms, but also in other places where they spend their free time. WLAN access is also available in classrooms and auditoriums.
In today's draftee training, digital solutions are needed in the same way as elsewhere in society. In addition to digital services designed for draftees, the social media can provide peer support, for example, and WLAN enables communication with the outside world during military service. It is easier to adapt to life in the garrison when family members and peer support are easy to reach through toll-free network access.
Challenge: The Finnish Defense Forces' project was digitizing barracks, but the draftees' network connections were based on garrison-specific solutions.
Solution: Sonera's WLAN interconnects the 15 garrisons covered by the service, providing the draftees with toll-free connections to the outside world and access to digital services provided for draftees. This seamless and secure service entity is provided by Sonera and Cygate.
Benefits: Draftees can apply for leave online, for example, and place an online note if their gear is lost. Visitors can use the visitor WLAN, and draftees can use toll-free network access in their free time to communicate with their families or, if necessary, find peer support through the social media. The usernames and passwords are the same in all garrisons covered by the service, and there is sufficient capacity for a large number of users.
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