O2 and Vodafone have reached the final hurdle in the race to win a £4.5bn contract to supply the communications network for the Government’s smart meter programme.
The programme aims to fit over 30 million UK homes and businesses with smart energy meters by 2019. The contract runs for between nine to 15 years with a five-year renewal option. It is divided into three regional lots covering northern, central and southern regions of Britain, each worth up to £1.5bn. Bidders can pitch for
all three lots.
Four bidders have been shortlisted to support the smart meter roll out. Arqiva, Cable & Wireless Worldwide, which is now owned by Vodafone, and O2 are bidding for licenses in each of the three regional lots whilst a consortium led by Airwave has made a bid for the northern region license.
EE exited the bid process in May last year although there are claims it has since joined Airwave’s consortium. However, Airwave declined to comment on the claims and EE was unavailable.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change has invited the four shortlisted bidders to submit final tenders with the winning bidder for each region expected to be announced in July this year.