British Army Training Unit Suffield Leverages Absolute Secure Access to Combat Mobile Connectivity Issues

BATUS Turns to Absolute Secure Access to Keep British Army Personnel Connected on the Modern Battlefield During Live-Fire Exercises

Canadian Forces Base Suffield in Alberta is home to the British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS), the British Army’s premier live-fire training center. When soldiers use the training base, they rely on a variety of mobile technologies to carry out the training exercises in preparation for real-life battles and combat around the world.

The Story

Reduce Lost Connections and Unwanted Application Crashes

BATUS faced a dilemma. Persistent mobile device issues interrupted battle groups and instructors during live training ops, wasting precious time and frustrating users. As the soldiers traversed the uneven terrain, their mobile devices could not stay connected to the cellular network, causing unwanted application crashes.

In addition to fixing these mobile connectivity issues, IT was tasked with reducing the high cost of data plan overages while lacking visibility into why the devices were reaching plan limits so quickly and without knowing how the devices were being used for work-related tasks during training sessions. They also wanted to route all data traffic through the unit’s network with an always-on VPN tunnel that users couldn’t disable—something their old VPN could not do.

Security Challenges

Improve Mobile Experience for Soldiers

Provides Greater Visibility

Saves Almost $100,000 in Data Plan Costs

"During our rollout, we discovered a huge new feature — the ability to block or allow access to specific hostnames. Rather than blocking IP addresses, we can whitelist specific sites to further control the use of our iOS devices."


The Solutions

How They Did It

Eliminate Dropped Connections and Software Crashes

During a 30-day evaluation of Absolute Secure Access, they saw immediate improvements; no more disconnects or software crashes. IT was pleased that they had resolved the VPN issues, but still had to rein in the cost of data plans on each device, especially iOS devices that connected to the cellular network for situational awareness on the battlefield.

Provide Greater Visibility Into Network, Device, and Application Usage

After a trial using the Absolute Insights™ for Network product, which is part of the Absolute Secure Access solution, they quickly realized how much information they could glean right out of the box with the pre-configured dashboards. In particular, dashboards revealing the highest application and network usage provided the visibility and granular detail they had been lacking. They were able to identify who was streaming data, how much data, and which networks they were using, as well as the websites they were visiting during work hours. As a result, they implemented specific usage policies that managed or blocked unwanted behaviors.

The Results

Improved Mobile Experience for Soldiers in the Field

The complete Absolute Secure Access solution gives the BATUS the connectivity their field users need to do their jobs on the battlefield and the insight IT needs to control data usage costs and user behavior on all mobile devices.

For BATUS, Absolute Secure Access:

  • Improved mobile experience for soldiers in the field
  • Eliminated dropped connections and software crashes
  • Provided greater visibility into device, network, and application usage
  • Saved almost $100,000 in data plan costs over a one-year period (Absolute alone was responsible for at least $50,000)
  • Improved control over the websites users can access

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