Avion de chasse Mirage

Leisure Internet for overseas operations

Operations abroad

Often used in military slang, the term OPEX stands for Overseas Operations. These are interventions by French military forces outside national territory in conflict zones. Living in OPEX is a powerful human experience. Sharing similar living conditions, being away from one's family, team spirit and confronting a hostile environment reinforce the solidarity of the group. In this environment, connecting soldiers to their families is of vital importance.

Logo ILOPEX 2

Background

In 2017, following a call for tenders issued by the French Ministry of Defence's central purchasing agency, l'Économat des armées, Wifirst was selected to provide WiFi internet access at French military defence bases on external operations. The "ILOPEX2" solution enabled soldiers to keep in touch with their families in eight countries in Africa and the Middle East. It includes WiFi access, a VoIP telephony solution and round-the-clock support, thanks to the presence of a Wifirst representative in each operational base. The WAN provisioning and WiFi expertise provided by Wifirst means that the user experience is ultra-ergonomic and as seamless as possible.

The challenge faced

In a very short timeframe, Wifirst succeeded in implementing a high-performance solution that met the high security standards required to provide this service in a military environment, in a war zone. Wifirst adapted its solution to the very severe climatic constraints (high temperatures, sandstorms) and took charge of everything: site audit, deployment, integration and logistics. Ten sites were deployed in less than three months. Wifirst was able to integrate specific functionalities into its solution to meet ad hoc military requirements. The hybrid model chosen for ILOPEX2 consists of a guaranteed monthly allowance that can be supplemented by the online purchase of vouchers.

The concrete results

  • 6,500 soldiers benefit daily from the Wifirst service in OPEX
  • 14 bases equipped in Africa and the Middle East
  • 650 outdoor WiFi hotspots deployed (Ruckus T300)
  • 80 km of fibre laid in the heart of the bases
  • 7GB of data exchanged per month per user
militaires
"Improving the day-to-day lives of soldiers who are alone and geographically isolated both during and outside working hours covers three areas: connectivity to maintain links with the family, improving the living environment in base camps, and improving the range of services on offer (fast food, self-service sports facilities, etc.)".

Article 6.1 of the Family Plan
French Ministry of Defence

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ILOSCA

ILOSCA (" Leisure Internet for the French Armed Forces ") is the solution operated by Wifirst at all the defence bases in mainland France.

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