Request for Information: Provision of Satellite-Based Internet for Schools

Source: UNICEF

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is looking for vendors to provide satellite services and solutions to accelerate the adoption of Internet connectivity in schools and other program areas. A Request for Information (RFI) is intended to identify potential service providers who are able to provide all or part of a shortlist Access to the Internet via satellite for schools requirements.

In 2019, UNICEF and the International Telecommunication Union joined forces to create Giga: a global initiative to connect every school to the Internet by 2030. Since then, Giga has directly connected more than 5,500 schools to the Internet in 19 countries to benefit 2.1 million learners since 2020. However, connecting remote and rural schools in settlements without access to electricity, more than 20 km from fiber infrastructure and out of reach of networks represents Mobile cellular is a huge challenge that must be addressed if we are to connect all schools in the world by 2030.

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Giga aims to provide a meaningful and sustainable connection to all schools. However, for schools farther away, the lack of infrastructure significantly increases connection costs. And even if we can connect the most isolated schools, it is important to make sure that the price they will pay per month for Internet services is affordable for everyone.

Therefore, GIGA partner UNICEF requests information from satellite communications companies to understand available technology solutions, their capabilities to connect remote schools, licensing requirements, and capital and operational expenditures associated with each technology. Access to efficient and cost-effective satellite communications services is essential to achieving UNICEF program objectives in schools in more than 190 countries covering thousands of locations worldwide. In addition, satellite services will be used in many of these countries to support the Giga initiative.

As a result of this Request for Information (RFI), UNICEF is considering entering into a Long Term Non-Exclusive Arrangement (LTA) with one or multiple vendors to provide comprehensive communication solutions to schools. In addition, UNICEF may use this long-term agreement to “broker” contractual relationships with governments to provide satellite connectivity to their schools as part of the Giga initiative.

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Communication is primarily designed for use in schools but can be expanded to other areas of UNICEF’s programs or operations around the world. Companies are encouraged to respond to RFI over here by November 30, 2022, 23:59 (GMT-5) Eastern Time (US and Canada).

important information

This Request for Information (RFI) does not constitute a formal request, as UNICEF is not soliciting bids or offers at this stage. Instead, the RF is seeking information on business components and pricing models for future tendering. Please note that you are not expected to provide accurate prices or quotes, just averages or estimates for CAPEX and OPEX for Connectivity and Clean Energy Solutions.

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Responding to this request for information automatically does not guarantee that you will be selected to participate in a tender or be selected for purchases. Furthermore, UNICEF will not be responsible for your costs in preparing and providing the requested information.

In addition, UNICEF reserves the right to change or cancel requirements at any time during the request for information and/or any future solicitation process and reserves the right to request compliance with additional terms when any future bidding documents are issued.

As a minimum requirement, only companies that provide clear and accurate information to the above questions will be evaluated as suitable to provide services and may be invited to participate in a future competitive bidding process.

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