Verizon, AT&T Inc and Qwest have been selected by the US government’s General Services Administration (GSA) to participate in tenders for billions of dollars worth of communications contracts. The so-called Networx Universal programme covers the government’s communications needs for the next ten years and has a potential value of over USD20 billion. The trio will be invited to bid on each separate part of the scheme under an Indefinite Delivery – Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract.
The announcement of the deal will come as a blow to Sprint Nextel which had hoped to be among the winners. Sprint, which along with Verizon has been providing GSA telecoms services for the past 18 years, said the decision was a ‘disappointment’. Networx Universal calls for telcos to provide a full range of fixed line and wireless voice, data and video services to 135 government agencies in 190 countries. The winners of a separate contract known as Networx Corporate are due to be announced in May; Sprint says it is confident it will be awarded a portion of this deal.