Global Crossing Ltd. (NYSE: GX) announced it has signed a framework agreement with NATO's Consultation, Command and Control Agency that qualifies it as a bidder to provide wide area network, video, voice and IP data communications services to NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) member countries and signatories to the Partnership for Peace Agreement.
Global Crossing now has the ability to provide 46 Governments access to an extensive global IP-based fibre-optic network through the approved supplier agreement. The framework contract, known as a Basic Ordering Agreement, enables government agencies and Global Crossing to streamline the contracting process for the procurement of services and solutions quickly and affordably. The agreement also opens the door for Global Crossing's Solutions division to bid for major outsourcing projects in collaboration with systems integrators and vendors that are accredited suppliers to NATO.
The agreement with NATO comes soon after Global Crossing's selection by the US Department of Defense to provide advanced wide area network services for its Defense Research and Engineering Network (DREN). This contract is valued at $137 million over an initial three years but has the potential to exceed $400 if seven one-year options are exercised. Global Crossing will design, develop and manage a secure, virtual private network for DREN. Around 6,000 scientists and engineers at defense laboratories, test centers, universities and industry sites throughout the US and beyond will be able to communicate and collaborate in real time via the world's largest, single, contiguous fibre-optic network.
Typical of the services provided under the framework agreement are an existing contract with NATO for international private circuits linking the UK to Norway, Denmark and Italy. The 2Mbit/s links will be used to link NATO's sub-head quarters in London with bases in Stavangar in Norway, Milan in Italy and the RAF base at High Wycombe, UK, to Viborg in Denmark. The breadth of Global Crossing's network has enabled NATO to streamline its procurement of international bandwidth. Global Crossing's proposition of a single supplier for pan-European connectivity means NATO avoids the cost and complexity of sourcing capacity through multiple agreements with national operators.
By moving from the existing system of procuring circuit segments within national boundaries, on this contract alone, NATO is reducing its number of suppliers from five to one. Apart from cost reductions, added benefits include faster provisioning and greatly simplified billing. NATO will enjoy improved service levels as a result of end-to-end management and a single point of contact for ordering and fault reporting. NATO will benefit from commercial-level service agreements thanks to the high level of availability and resilience of the European network.
Global Crossing has extensive experience in the deployment of international telecommunications services in the government and defense sectors. The company is in the process of implementing an international network for the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office under a contract worth $230 million. The 10-year project will provide managed voice, data and messaging services to over 10,000 users in 240 embassies, consulates and high commissions world-wide.
In the defense arena, Global Crossing provides the Royal Air Force (RAF) with managed messaging and directory services to some 55,000 users at 70 RAF sites, including overseas bases such as Germany, the Falklands, Cyprus, Canada and Gibraltar. The flexible configuration of the system allows the RAF to extend messaging services to any field of operation worldwide. Global Crossing already has a substantial user base in the UK government sector, serving over 30 government departments with voice & data services via two major framework agreements - the Government Data Network and Metropolitan Telecommunications Services.
About Global Crossing:
Global Crossing Ltd. (NYSE: GX) provides telecommunications solutions over an integrated global IP-based network. For more information, visit www.globalcrossing.com or www.asiaglobalcrossing.com.