Government set to launch SIP tender

Central government is set to launch a national procurement allowing public sector bodies to access infrastructure capable of carry voice and video calls as well as data.

The Crown Commercial Service said that it would be looking to use the new Network Services framework – due to go live this month – for the procurement.

And it said one of the first services to be procured under the new framework would be for Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) technology.

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A statement by CCS said: “One of these new technologies is Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) which is being widely adopted to enable the use of the same telecoms infrastructure for voice and video calls as well as data, eliminating or reducing the need for dedicated ISDN lines.”

It said that the new procurement could allow councils and other public sector bodies to reduce telephone costs by between a quarter and a half.

In addition, SIP also paves the way for adoption of IP voice and unified communications solutions, it added.

The current timescale is for customer engagement to begin in June, with the first national procurements taking place between August and October.

The news comes after reports last week that the CCS would this week announce it has dropped a controversial e-auction process from the second iteration of the Digital Services Framework.

The proposal was widely criticised in the sector, with Harry Metcalfe, managing director at digital services firm dxw, saying: “I can’t believe that a reverse auction in the Digital Services Framework can possibly have been what anyone wanted, apart from CCS.

“It’s the kind of thing one might expect from Accenture or the like: not from the team of world-class, pragmatic, creative digital professionals that is the GDS.”

Colin Marrs

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