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Home Office sets ESN devices competition running

David Bicknell Published 05 April 2017

Procurement tender covers LTE devices for operational trials and for supply through framework agreement


The Home Office has confirmed it will issue a tender through which it plans to appoint providers of LTE mobile devices to a framework for the Emergency Services Network (ESN).

The Home Office said it is looking for “suitably capable and experienced providers” to operate “using the Release 12 QoS Class Identifier” to enable them to be fully capable of operating on the ESN LTE network.

It added that devices that will be supplied resulting from the procurement will need to have achieved Network Approval Testing Service (NATS) and User Device Type Approval Service (UDTAS) accreditation as part of the requirements to utilise LTE devices on the ESN network.

The procurement note indicated that awarded contracts will be for 36 months with an option to extend for a period(s) up to a maximum of 12 months.

The procurement, which is estimated to be worth £210m, will cover:

  • LTE Mobile Handheld Devices for Operational Trials. The Home Office said devices should achieve NATS and UDTAS accreditation and be supplied by a target date of April 2018 and no later than June 2018 in quantity of between 500, 750 and 1 500 units based on number of suppliers awarded contracts to be on the framework agreement.
  • LTE Mobile Handheld Devices available on the framework agreement. Suppliers that are awarded contracts will be able to supply their LTE Mobile Handheld Devices under the Call Off arrangements from the point that the devices complete Trials, and therefore must have completed NATS and UDTAS accreditation, and be available for procurement in large quantity of up to a total to be supplied over the term of the contract of 250 000 units from June 2018.
  • Accessories. The supply of accessories that are to be used with the LTE mobile handheld devices for the trials.
  • Intrinsically Safe LTE Mobile Handheld Devices. A variant of the LTE Handheld Device that is “intrinsically safe” is to be provided by one of the suppliers under the Framework Agreement period. According to the Home Office, a total of 3,000 intrinsically safe LTE Mobile Handheld Devices will be required during the term of the framework agreement period but only one supplier on the framework agreement will provide the devices.

The ITT is expected to be provided around 19 th April, with the closing date for receipt of tenders or requests to participate expected to be a month later. According to the tender, a maximum of seven devices suppliers is expected to qualify.  Would-be suppliers will have to complete three documents before getting access to the invitation to tender (ITT), comprising an "ethical walls agreement", a "security aspects letter" and a selection questionnaire.

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