The UbuntuNet Alliance is seeking offers for capacity services under the forthcoming AfricaConnect 2 project. The project, funded by the Pan African Programme will build upon the high-capacity network for research and education that has been partially established in the Southern and Eastern Africa (ESA) region under the AfricaConnect 1 funding programme (which finished successfully on 5th May 2015).The programme, supported by a combined EC and African NREN budget of €10m, will increase the resilience of extant links and reach out to newly joining NRENs to the UA from within ESA. It will support the new and improved network between the region and the world wide community of Research and Education Networks by continuing to connect with GÉANT, the pan-European Research and Education Network operated by GÉANT Ltd.
The beneficiaries of AfricaConnect are the NRENs under the UbuntuNet Alliance, the regional Research and Education Network for the ESA region. The Alliance currently has membership drawn from 15 countries namely: The Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Burundi, Uganda and Zambia. The project has European partners comprising the National Research and Education Networks (NREN) of Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and Portugal who respectively represent the GÉANT community.
AfricaConnect 1 has already established a network within ESA with the following links in production;
- SEACOM CLS, Mtunzini to KDN Data Center, Sameer Park, Nairobi with drops at SEACOM CLS Maputo and SEACOM CLS Dar es Salaam, @ STM 4.
- KDN Data Centre, Sameer Park, Nairobi to VLP room, Telecom House Rwanda, Kigali with a drop at NITA-U Data Centre, Statistics House, Kampala, @ STM 4.
- EASSY CLS, Mtunzini to Amsterdam with a drop at KDN Data Centre, Sameer Park, Nairobi, @ STM 4.
- Seacom CLS, Dar Es Salaam to ZAMREN PoP, Lusaka, @ STM 4.
- ZAMREN PoP, Lusaka, to London with a drop in Cape Town, South Africa @ STM-4
- Moanda CLS, DRC to Internet Solutions PoP, Bree Street, Cape Town.
This Competitive Dialogue procurement will seek to establish the shape of any contractual and commercial arrangements to support the network in terms of increases of bandwidth on extant routes as well as the establishment of new routes to newly joining NRENs in countries such as Sudan, Malawi, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Burundi and Somalia. Later stages of the overarching programme of work under Africa Connect 2 may be to look at future options for connecting into the forthcoming WACREN network in West Africa (alsofunded through the Pan African Programme).
The length of any resulting contracts are anticipated to be 10 years or more and term will be one of the key aspects of the competitive dialogue process, along with commercial and contractual aspects this will be discussed in the dialogue stage as well as the potential route options.
The initial route options that we wish to consider and explore with potential infrastructure providers are (please note that not all links will be purchased and evaluation will be based upon both quality and commercial criteria), as follows:
- An STM-4 link from Kampala to Amsterdam with drops in Kigali, Dar es Salaam and Nairobi, with the Kampala-Kigali span preferably on different infrastructure from the existing link.
- An STM-4 link from Kampala to Amsterdam with drops in Kigali and Dar es salaam with the Kampala-Kigali span preferably on different infrastructure from the existing link.
- An STM-4 link from Kigali to Amsterdam with a drop in Dar es salaam and Nairobi
PQQ documentation, draft requirements and guidance documents are available below for download. Completed PQQ responses should be submitted by email to email@example.com by 2 July 2015, 17:00hrs Central African Time. All enquiries should be sent to the same email address.