National treasury has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for a multibillion-rand government tender to supply mobile services to government workers – and its main requirement is that they get completely uncapped mobile Internet access.
The RFP, published on the treasury website, is for a five-year supply agreement. Vodacom previously won the tender, but this contract is coming to an end next year. The new tender will run from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2026.
The aim of the new “transversal” contract, national treasury said, is the continued reduction of expenditure on mobile communication services. It will achieve this by, among other things, ensuring there is a set limit of mobile spend per civil servant of a maximum of R500/month.
Treasury also wants to support South African electronics manufacturing by procuring locally manufactured devices and accessories from small, medium and micro enterprises.
Bidders must be able to comply with three categories for the supply of:
- Voice minutes (airtime), uncapped data without applying a fair-use policy (FUP), SMSes and mobile devices necessary to connect to the network. (FUPs are often applied by mobile operators to prevent network overload.)
- Value-added services.
- Accessories to complement the mobile services.
“The state has a maximum spend limit of R500 inclusive of VAT per mobile user per month,” the RFP said. “Bidders may propose different mobile offerings with a variety of mobile services considering the state spend limit and the objectives of the transversal contract.”
‘Closed user groups’
In addition to unlimited data, treasury also wants bidders to supplement the services offered with unlimited voice and SMS “closed user groups”. Sim cards may also not be locked to devices. Devices must be approved by communications regulator Icasa and no “inferior or grey” products will be accepted.
Stable mobile network coverage must also be provided at all places where the state is involved in service delivery. A minimum 80% network population coverage nationwide is required at the start of the contract period.
According to Business Insider South Africa, which first published the news about the RFP earlier on Tuesday, the current 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. —© 2020 NewsCentral Media