Military News

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

NEXCOM Provides Internet Service to Military Members at Camp Lemonnier

By Kristine M. Sturkie, Navy Exchange Service Command Public Affairs

CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (NNS) -- The Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) began offering new Internet service plans Feb. 4 to service members stationed at Camp Lemonnier in the Horn of Africa.

The NEXCOM program manager for unofficial telecommunications assisted in finding a local provider for the Internet service inside each container living unit which serves as living areas for residents on the base.

"We worked with the Commander, Naval Installation Command's official network group at Camp Lemonnier to create a contract with the local Djiboutian phone company, Djibouti Teleco," said Mary Morse, NEXCOM program manager, Telecommunications Program Office. "This allowed for pay-for-service inside each container living unit, similar to the standard Internet service in the United States."

Djibouti Teleco created a special department within their phone company, Multivision, to handle this project and hired engineers from local countries to design a solution that allowed for Internet in the container living units.

"NEX Djibouti, working with Multivision, collects the Internet fee from the customer," said Morse. "The customer then contacts Multivision for the start up of their service as well as any issues with accessing and maintaining an Internet connection."

Cost for the Internet service varies depending on the length of time purchased and the speed of the connection. Prices start at just $15.

"Under industry standards, customers typically buy one or two different speeds on a monthly basis," said Morse. "However, due to the unique situation in Djibouti and the mission changes, customers have the flexibility of purchasing only what is needed during their stay."

The speed of the Internet service is also fast enough to perform voice over Internet protocol or VOIP which allows the service members to not only speak to their loved ones but actually see them from their computers.

In total, nearly 400 service members have signed up for the service since sales began.

"Overall consensus (of the plans) was very favorable," said Vonda Hensley, branch exchange manager, Navy Exchange Djibouti. "We're averaging over 100 sign-ups for the service a day. The availability of Internet service here in Djibouti is a huge quality of life service. Service members appreciate being able to contact their loved ones back home."

Camp Lemonnier provides, operates and maintains superior service to meet the needs of regional tenant commands, and facilitate operations in the Horn of Africa, while promoting positive relations between the United States and African nations. It is the only U.S. military base located in Africa.

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