Marine and Coastguard Agency to replace its radio network infrastructure
Written by: Sam Fenwick | Published:

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency is looking to spend up to £130 million on replacing and running a replacement to the existing Kilostream network that connects the organisation’s 155 Remote Radio sites (RRS), which monitor VHF & MF Radio transmissions from vessels at sea and provide assistance during emergencies.

The current infrastructure has to be replaced as the analogue Kilostream product that underpins the existing network is being withdrawn from the market in March 2020 by BT.

The closing date for submissions is 27 July and the contract is due to start on 1 April 2019 and finish 10 years later. Potential suppliers will need to demonstrate that they have the capacity to design, deliver and maintain the replacement radio network infrastructure and provide evidence that they have implemented a network of a similar size and complexity for another blue light or critical national infrastructure provider or equivalent.

The contract is split into two lots. Lot 1 will be for a 10-year term covering network design, build and rental for the 10 years and include a transition support requirement for the initial three years where most of the implementation and network transition is expected to be undertaken. MCA is seeking to replace the existing kilostream network with a resilient IP service that can be used for this voice-element of the service (by using VoIP technologies) as well as for other data services.

Lot 2 will be for a seven year managed service requirement, to provide ongoing support of the system to maintain its availability, which will co-terminate with Lot 1 at the end of the 10 year period. MCA currently intends to award both lots to a single supplier but reserves the right to split the lots should it have “sound operational and commercial rationale for doing so”.

The Agency’s network is situated around 11,000 miles of UK coastline and facilitates all communication transmissions to and from vessels at sea and to the HM Coastguard Watch Officers based at MSA’s 10 Coastguard Operation Centres around the UK and the National Maritime Operations Centre in Fareham via two data centres.

More information, including MSA contact details can be found here.

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