10/12/2011 12:07:22 PM
Vodafone and Virgin clinch Lambeth deal
A joint venture of Vodafone and Virgin Media Business has clinched a £100m deal to provide Lambeth Council with converged voice and data network services.
The six-year contract, called Project Signal, sees the joint venture provide the unified communications services across around 180 council buildings, serving 4,500 users. The contract has an option to extend the deal for another four years.
The contract was put out to competitive tender after the council’s current contracts with BT for data and voice networks and with Orange for mobile and BlackBerry services came to an end.
Vodafone will provide the fixed and mobile telephone services while Virgin Media Business will provide the WAN infrastructure and the internet links across the council’s estate of 180 council buildings. The solution will also include a public access Wi-Fi network across key council buildings including libraries.
Under the deal the joint venture is aiming to save the council over £2m through property rationalisation, the introduction of flexible mobile working for staff and reduced call charges.
A Lambeth council spokesman said: ‘The project will be one of the largest rollouts of Vodafone’s unified communication service in the public sector to date. The solution will deliver convergence of the fixed and mobile infrastructure, enabling employees to work in a more flexible and effective way.’
Vodafone UK head of public sector Ian Cunningham said: ‘Our partnership with Lambeth Council is another example of our continued success in helping the public sector realise savings while protecting and improving public services.
‘By embracing unified communications and encouraging new ways of working there’s a real opportunity for local government to reduce overall communication costs at the same time as making savings elsewhere, for example, by reducing the need for fixed office space. Not only that, but letting employees work from wherever they need to, organisations can improve productivity – which will ultimately drive faster delivery of public services.’
The first phase of the contract is worth £20m. However, it is potentially worth £100m over the life of the contract, with the council hoping to extend the joint venture’s services to other organisations across the borough of Lambeth and throughout London.
Ed Garcez, chief information officer and divisional director of ICT services at Lambeth council, said: ‘Project Signal has already achieved a number of quick wins for users within the council, and more importantly for citizens across the borough.
‘Working in partnership with Virgin Media Business and Vodafone will deliver many additional advantages to Lambeth, and potentially more widely across London.’