Orange, Vodafone and O2 are preparing to battle for over £8bn of mobile and telecommunications contracts under a major four-year public sector framework deal due to be let next March.
The framework, overseen by the Cabinet Office, will deliver a welter of unified communication services across central and local government departments via a newly created standardised Public Services Network.
The Public Services Network (PSN) programme aims to deliver savings of £500m per year on the Government’s £16.5bn annual ICT costs by creating one standardised network, from which suppliers will be able to offer services such as unified comms and secure remote access services.
The new PSN framework contract is expected to run for up to four years and is estimated to be worth at least £8bn. The Government currently spends £2bn per year on fixed-line telecoms and £21m on mobile phone services.
The PSN framework will replace the current public sector telecommunications and mobile telephony framework contracts, which are due to expire next year.
BT, Cable & Wireless and IT systems integrators IBM and HP are also expected to bid.
Vodafone has also confirmed its interest, appointing Simon Holmyard to head up its PSN team this week, ahead of the bid.
Orange’s head of public sector Kate Jack said the PSN tender is ‘an absolute priority for next year’.
O2’s head of corporate Billy D’Arcy said the bid has been ‘a huge focus inside O2 Business for some months already with a specific team focused on PSN’.