There have been many previous attempts to design a secure phone for government use. They have all failed to meet expectations in one way or another. At one end of the spectrum are the hyper-secure phones that were designed from the ground up to meet an ever-increasing list of secret and top-secret security requirements. By the time these phones shipped, they were already years behind current technology, cost more than $3000 each, and possibly most important: users hated them.
Devices like the infamous SME PED (look it up if you like, it was terrible) delivered all the inconvenience a user could ask for and did nothing they wanted. People forced to use them needed a regular cell phone as well and often worked around the rules to get the job done. More modern hyper-secure phones exist today, and while the feature sets may be only three years out of date now, they remain expensive and cumbersome, and generally unloved. That’s not a great recipe for success.
At the other end of the spectrum, many government agencies have turned to use off-the-shelf consumer smartphones paired with commercial management tools. These systems get the benefit of consumer price points and convenience but are built around a fundamental security flaw. That flaw is that consumer smartphones are designed to collect and monetize data about their users. Studies have shown that an Android smartphone sends packets of data containing location, applications in use, contacts, calls and SMSs sent, and other data to multiple servers an average of 50 times per hour. Apple iOS phones are only slightly better, sending data 40 times an hour.
Building a sensitive government mission around a consumer smartphone that collects data for 3rd parties is just asking for trouble. A government mobility system needs to be fully in control of these devices and be assured there is no unexpected tracking to safeguard the mission properly.
altOS is designed to be a trustworthy, inexpensive, and highly usable phone specifically for sensitive government customers. We get the best value for our customers by leveraging the huge investment already made in the Android platform and commercial smartphone ecosystem, but we break the link between the OEM smartphone maker and your data by replacing the operating system with our own modified version of Android.
Our customers can use the latest inexpensive smartphone hardware, getting all the price and performance advantages and blending into the regular user population, but they also get complete control over the operating system through our management server so they can protect mission-critical data.
We hope you’ll spend some time reviewing our capabilities on this site, and then contact us to schedule a demonstration.