National treasury has published a new five-year contract for the supply of “transversal” telecommunications services to government entities.
The contract — worth billions of rand over its full term, which runs from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2026 — is now open to other service providers, with MTN South Africa on Tuesday expressing delight at being included. The mobile communication services contract is known formally as RT15-2021.
Vodacom South Africa held the previous five-year contract, known as RT15-2016, exclusively.
“The scale of the government’s requirements has allowed MTN to develop industry-leading systems and innovative pricing and products that will not only add value to the state but will also significantly improve on existing mobile telecoms service delivery, while also allowing for a high degree of control of spend by the individual entities,” MTN said in a statement.
MTN South Africa CEO Godfrey Motsa said: “A huge team at MTN spent months analysing the state’s requirements and then developed the very best solutions to not only meet those expectations, but to exceed them.”
Motsa said MTN was “delighted with the very positive reaction from the RT15-2021 bid committee to our service offerings”.
The company’s chief enterprise officer, Wanda Matandela, added that the contract involves the supply of mobile devices, accessories and value-added services.
“There are also vital operations that must be maintained, such as air operations, the needs of the special task force, sea, rail, satellite and other critical functions,” Matandela said.
National treasury issued a request for proposals in October 2020, in terms of which its main requirement was that civil servants get completely uncapped mobile Internet access.
The aim of the new “transversal” contract, national treasury said at the time, was the continued reduction of expenditure on mobile communication services. It would achieve this by, among other things, ensuring there was a set limit of mobile spend per civil servant of a maximum of R500/month.
In addition to unlimited data, treasury wanted bidders to supplement the services offered with unlimited voice and SMS in “closed user groups”. A minimum 80% network population coverage nationwide was required at the start of the contract period.
The transversal mobile services tender with Vodacom was meant to come to an end in August 2020 but was extended until the end of March 2021.
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