Defence and security

Powering our nation’s defences today – creating a force for tomorrow

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BT has a special place in the fabric of Britain’s defence and security services

Over our 100 year history of providing telecommunications to the MOD and the UK’s Armed Forces a lot has changed: the threat environment, the make-up of the armed forces and the technology they use.

But one thing has remained constant. BT has been an integral part of the nation’s defences throughout, providing the communications that enable the forces to do the difficult and dangerous job they do.

Our track record is solid. We have provided the MOD’s fixed telecommunications service since 1997. We supply bespoke BlackBerry to keep personnel productive on the move. Our wi-fi keeps those posted away from home in touch with their families. And our enhanced computer network defences keep military systems secure against cyber threats.

Independent analysts Gartner and IDC rate us as the world’s leading network service provider.

But for us it’s not just about technology. It’s the skills and commitment of our people that matter.

We see our role as helping the Services master the art of using technology creatively to deliver stunning outcomes. As one of our key customers, a member of DE&S ISS, says:

BT unquestionably has a pivotal role in the security sphere. However, the expertise and experience of its people is equally valuable in helping us apply technology for business advantage.”

Helping the armed forces create a safer world

BT uses the power of communications to help British Armed Forces and security services to create a safer world.

Armed forces must be able to react rapidly to national or international developments. BT can provide the communications for a command and control centre anywhere in the world just as quickly. We can provide communications in over 170 countries and offer a variety of satellite access options.

We can support mobile operations at home or abroad with cloud based collaboration services and secure MOD BlackBerry. We can help the military evolve their communications to attract and engage the new generation of young service personnel.

We’ll help Britain’s forces modernise its bases by providing all the communications infrastructure and services that today’s Services need.

We can apply some of the major innovations we have delivered for other sectors, like tele-medicine, to help transform military medicine. We deliver remote working and online training services as the norm.

And our adaptive cyber security service eCND keeps the nation secure against an ever-changing profile of threats, now and into the future.

What makes us different

Wherever the UK Armed Forces need to operate BT can provide the necessary communications services. We have a unique scope, reach and capability that allows us to deliver genuine end-to-end services.

We take scale and complexity in our stride, with our DFTS network already handling a quarter of a million calls a day between 2,000 sites. And we offer good value for money, having saved the MOD £700m over the course of the contract.

Our broad portfolio includes smart networks, unified communications, robust security products, data centre and cloud services, all supported by consulting expertise.

BT will proactively suggest how the MOD could customise commercial off the shelf products and re-present them as authorised services under a master contract. We’ve done this with BlackBerry and online training, and we could do it with tele-medicine too.

We bring it all together, creating and managing the communications ecosystems that unite the people, forces and agencies working in defence and security. By doing so, we help connect the world for a better future.

“Only BT came close”

Future-proofing NATO communications

BT has provided a new communications network for NATO which is flexible, future-proof and secure. It connects more than 70 locations across the 28 NATO nations and the Balkans.

We migrated NATO’s existing backbone to BT Ethernet Connect, our intelligent network platform for large international organisations. NATO also use our Ethernet Connect E-Line services, which provide protected bandwidth for mission critical applications.

The organisation responsible for delivering technology to NATO is the NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A). Their General Manager explains it was BT’s deep understanding of their needs combined with the strength of our portfolio which made us the right partner:

BT has, over the years, developed an in-depth understanding of the specific challenges we face. Their BT Connect portfolio is particularly well designed to support our communications needs.”

Controlling traffic for NATS

Another organisation performing a critical safety role is NATS, who provide air traffic control services for civil and military aircraft flying in UK airspace and the eastern North Atlantic.

Aware that their legacy network would struggle to meet their future needs they turned to BT to provide a new managed network service. The BT solution mixed the right technology (BT IP Connect) with an innovative 12 year commercial agreement.

General Manager of Engineering Service Delivery explains what was important to NATS:

Resilience – “Lose the network and we lose UK air traffic control. So resilience is critical and BT offers near-100 per cent availability.”

Reach – “We wanted one collaborative partner who could take national accountability for the provision and management of network services to all our sites. Only BT came close.”

Collaboration – “Close co-operation has enabled our teams to get to know each other and has informed discussions about problems and solutions.”

Savings – “With much improved service and substantial operational savings we get a win/win result, proving that when two expert companies get together great things can happen.”


DFTS – Decades of reliable service

BT provides the Defence Fixed Telecommunications Service (DFTS). One of the largest telecommunications undertakings in the world, it carries a quarter of a million calls a day between 2,000 sites and 225,000 users in the UK, Germany, Cyprus and Afghanistan.

Core services include restricted LAN (including remote access), secret LAN, secure internet access, enhanced video conferencing, secure BlackBerry and virtual phone numbers.

It is so resilient that parts of it could withstand the loss of entire cities and still function. It is so secure that some BT people have the same security vetting as MOD people necessary to handle Top Secret material.

Signed in 1997, the Agreement has been extended twice and currently runs to 2015. The value of the Agreement to the MOD includes savings of around £700 million over its lifetime.

The partnership that we have built with BT is focused on helping us to do what we do more efficiently and more securely”
- Head of Voice Services, DE&S ISS, DFTS


Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v2.0.



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