Wireless telephone service is available for state use under certain circumstances. It is important to understand the subscriber's requirements and know that monthly air service plans and coverage areas differ among wireless vendors.
There are criteria for user eligibility and an established approval process that MUST be followed before wireless telephone services are purchased or rented. The University is responsible for assuring that eligibility, approvals, usage, and billing are appropriate and correct.
University-provided wireless telephone service is not intended for personal use. It is for official state business and is to be acquired and used only after receiving specific, written approval from the University’s delegated Cellular Authority. Guidelines have been established which help determine if a request for wireless telephone service will be approved. Favorable consideration will be given to a request for wireless telephone service when the use of the service relates to life or death situations, personal safety, or when a bona fide business case can be made which requires wireless telephone service. The request for wireless telephone service MUST indicate that the use of alternative means of communicating have been considered and are less economical, impractical, or unavailable.
Plan & Vendor Selection
There are multiple state contracts in place with a number of wireless vendors for wireless telephone service. A determination of needs is made to select appropriate equipment and service. The University must determine wireless telephone usage requirements for any approved subscriber. This includes the approximate number of minutes to be used each month, the area of travel where service will be required, and the features and functionality of the service to be acquired.
Wireless telephone service is not all the same. The quality of service may vary. Coverage areas (where a subscriber can make and receive cellular calls) will vary from vendor to vendor. The availability of features and options and how they work will differ with various vendor offerings.
The cost of wireless telephone service is based on a monthly subscription charge, minutes of usage, and charges for other features and services. There may also be additional charges for using the service when traveling outside of a "home area" (daily roaming and per minute charges), for making long distance calls, and for being provided a monthly call detail report which lists information about each individual call made and received. Charges are rolled into a single monthly charge and may include some number of minutes, roaming, long distance calling, caller ID, voice mail, and other features. Different air time packages are available at different prices depending on quantities of minutes desired and features included. Vendors may have pooled-minutes service plans whereby multiple subscribers at a single billing address and account number can share minutes per month. Wireless handsets may be purchased and, along with other accessories, may be priced separately or be included in an initial package plan.
When selecting a vendor and the particular wireless service required, careful consideration should be given to a number of factors. It will be important to know the geographic area normally traveled by the subscriber and any particular feature requirements that the subscriber may need. (Note: Some vendor service area coverage maps may not accurately reflect service conditions in particular areas. And, coverage areas may change as vendors expand or realign service. Actual usage experience in required subscriber travel areas is the best way to confirm coverage.) With this information in hand, comparisons can be made for each vendor for service coverage area, the availability of service when traveling out of the vendor's service area, the availability of features and services, and the availability and cost of equipment. The overall cost of service can then be calculated and evaluated. Finally, the University’s delegated Cellular Authority may select the vendor and service which best meets the subscriber's particular needs.
The University will be billed directly by the vendor.
Non-State Business Wireless Service for State Employees
The state wireless contracts are for official state business only and are not to be used to acquire wireless equipment or service for personal business. However, while there is not a state-initiated wireless service plan for state employees' personal use, some cellular vendors offer special service and equipment pricing for state employees. As the availability and offers of such plans may vary from vendor to vendor, employees should contact vendors directly in order to determine the availability, service, and cost of employee plans. The vendor may require proof of state employment such as state identification badge or paycheck stub.
How to Order
Requests are initiated by calling 337-482-HELP  OR by completing the on-line request form. All requests must include full justification and appropriate department approval is required before the request is processed for consideration. The request for wireless telephone service MUST indicate that the use of alternative means of communicating have been considered and are less economical, impractical, or unavailable.
All requests must be approved in writing by the University’s delegated Cellular Authority. The requestor will be informed about the decision when the delegated Cellular Authority has approved or disapproved the request.
At the time of order, it will be necessary to provide the vendor and Comptroller’s Office with a copy of the approval authority's documentation in order to acquire cellular service or equipment. The University’s delegated Cellular Authority’s written approval documentation must be provided to the vendor prior to acquisition. Vendors are not able to provide equipment or service without written, authorized approval. OTM furnishes the vendors with the identity of authorized approval authorities and updates the approved list as changes occur. When state contracts terminate, it will be necessary to select a replacement cellular provider and issue a new purchase or release order
All approvals shall be based upon the following screening criteria concerning the protection of life and property or a demonstrated requirement to improve efficiency and effectiveness, and a lack of a suitable communications alternative.
Protection of life and property- the job duties of the individual require the performance of duties that could impact the protection of life and property. These duties may be impeded without immediate access (inbound and/or outbound) to the public telephone network regardless of time of day or location of the employee.
- Law enforcement- the daily job duties of the individual require the performance of law enforcement activities, and these activities may expose the individual or the general public to harm or danger.
- Personal safety- the daily job duties of the individual require the performance of activities that may expose the individual or clients to harm or danger.
- Public welfare- the daily job duties of the individual require the performance of duties that may directly impact the safety, health, and welfare of the general public.
Improved efficiency and effectiveness- the job duties of the individual require immediate access (inbound and/or outbound) to the public telephone network for recall, consultation, and/or decision making. Lack of instantaneous communications could have significant effect on the operational efficiency of the agency or significant impact on the economic or political welfare of the state.
- On call- duties require that the individual be immediately accessible after normal work hours regardless of location.
- Mobile or in transit- duties require that the individual be mobile or in transit a large percentage of the business day yet immediately accessible.
Lack of suitable communications alternatives- no other suitable communications alternatives (one-way or interactive pagers, two-way radio, standard telephone service) are available due to the location or environmental conditions of the workplace.
***This document has been adapted from The State of Louisiana’s published Wireless Telephone Service Rules: http://www.doa.louisiana.gov/otm/catalog/wirelesstelephone.htm