Customer Success Story: USO

    The United Service Organization (USO) is a private, nonprofit, non-partisan organization whose mission is to support United States troops by providing morale, welfare and recreation-type services. One benefit they provide are USO lounges which serve as a "home away from home" for United States military personnel travelling through major airports in the United States. Access is privileged to Active, Reserve, National Guard, Merchant Marine, retirees and their dependents. The three lounges at the Washington, D.C. metropolitan airports (USO-Metro) together served over 110,000 personnel in 2009.

    Among the many complimentary amenities provided in the USO-Metro lounges is VoIP phone service for those visitors wishing to contact loved ones before they depart. Check-in time for military personnel is six hours before departure time, so visitors to the lounge have considerable waiting time and the phones and service have proved to be one of the most popular amenities provided. Service men and women can take the opportunity to connect one more time with family and friends before deploying.

    At the end of 2008, the existing phones were reaching end-of-life and the USO-Metro began looking for replacements. They turned to their trusted partner Verizon, who has provided the VoIP service since 2005, for suggestions. The result was the introduction of Mitel’s SIP-DECT™ solution. The SIP-DECT technology provides reliable, high quality, and secure wireless communication. The solution consists of:

    • DECT access points running Open Mobility Manager (OMM) software.
    • Verizon Hosted IP Centrex (HIPC). The OMM communicates with the Verizon service using the industry standard SIP protocol.
    • Enterprise-grade DECT handsets. The cordless handsets provide mobility and the 1.9 GHz frequency ensures the communication doesn’t interfere with other frequencies in use at the airport.

    The first implementation was at the USO-Metro International Gateway Lounge at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. This $1.1 million 5,000 square-foot facility serves U.S. Armed Forces traveling to and from duty stations in Europe, Southwest Asia and the United States – in FY09, the BWI lounge served 69,603 visitors! The SIP-DECT solution at the Gateway Lounge was implemented by Mitel and Verizon Business technicians worked together to configure and validate the service. While the range of the SIP-DECT access points is 300,000 sq. ft., two SIP-DECT access points were installed for redundancy and added capacity. Together, they are capable of supporting 16 simultaneous calls. Additional handsets are available to ensure phones are always charged and ready.

    After the successful deployment at BWI, Verizon personnel rolled out the solution at the USO-Metro lounge in Dulles airport in Dulles, Virginia next and finally at Reagan National in Arlington, Virginia. Verizon and Mitel provides continued support to ensure United States military personnel can connect with their loved ones.

    Read the complete story: http://www.aastrausa.com/success-stories.htm?id=187

    Learn more about Mitel: http://www.mitel.com/