Telecom Giants Sign Major Government Contracts

by Jordan Richardson on December 14, 2010

Canada’s Big Three telecommunications companies have signed three separate deals with the Canadian government worth a combined $196 million.

Rogers Communications was the first company to announce its deal with the government. Worth $117 million, the largest chunk of the combined total, the Rogers contract is the largest wireless contract in Canadian history and worth four years in length.

Telus’ contract is worth $45.82 million and comes in at the same four-year timeline as the Rogers deal. Bell’s deal comes in at $33.86 million and is worth four years as well.

The deal comes through Public Works and includes two one-year extensions to give the government and the providers an opportunity to renew.

These sorts of deals are standard practice and essentially serve to arm federal employees with cell phones, accessories, and all sorts of other essentials from the carriers.

From what I understand, the contracts ensure that the purchases of products and services come as an “as and when requested basis.” This means that the numbers released pertaining to the contract values may be the maximum end of the contracts, while the real values of the contracts may not be known until the final analysis.

Rogers, for its part, says that it will be supplying 90% of cell phones and smart phones to government workers. How the other two providers will break down the rest remains to be seen. There will also probably be some infrastructure and other associated elements to the deal, including security, call centres, conferencing, and IT solutions.

Rogers also apparently supplies a host of other services for the government, including field inspections support, distribution of public work orders, transit sign updates, and even traffic light and intersection control. Rogers also has a hand in parking meters.

It could be argued that the government hasn’t included any of the new carriers in the service agreements, but it’s likely that the incumbents would simply outbid the competition anyway. With broader networks and more extensive service arrangements, it makes sense for the government to run with Bell, Telus and Rogers at this point.

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