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Network Services 3 FAQs

Arriving this Spring for use by buyers and suppliers is Network Services 3. Here we’ve answered common questions suppliers have.

What is the Network Services 3 (RM6116) Framework?

Network Services 3 (RM6116) is the next iteration of the Network Services framework, after NS2.  It provides public sector buyers with access to networks and telecommunications services. This includes cloud services, audio and video conferencing, radio and satellite networking.


When is Network Services 3 (RM6116) coming out?

CCS originally outlined July 2022 as an open date. However, we finally saw applications open on 18th November 2022.

Applications are now closed and we’re expecting the framework to finally launch this Spring/Summer 2023.


How will the Network Services 3 (RM6116) Lots be structured?

CCS outlined the new Lot structure for the Network Services 3 framework:

Inter site connectivity Lot 1a: WAN – Data Access Services Lot 1b: Commercial Radio Lot 1c: Tactical Radio Lot 1d: Critical Domain Services

Intra site connectivity Lot 2a: LAN – Local Connectivity Services

Emerging technologies Lot 3a: IoT & Smart Cities – CCTV & Surveillance (ancillary). Lot 3b: Communication Platform as a Service

Unified Communications Lot 4a: Analogue Telephony Lot 4b: Digital Communication Services (unified comms) Lot 4c: Contact Centre Lot 4d: Inbound Telephony Lot 4e: Paging and alerting

As you can see, it has changed since NS2 but incorporates most of the same technology and solutions.


Are the NS3 Lots capped?

Yes, the Lots on NS3 will be capped but this is again being debated and discussed at the supplier engagement events. Until the OJEU is released, we won’t know the number of suppliers per Lot.


How long is the call-off period?

The length of the contract is still yet to be confirmed for Network Services 3. However, the maximum call-off length for Network Services is 5 years with the option to extend by 2 additional years.


How much has been through the framework?

The current estimated value for Network Services 3 is estimated at up to £5bn!


What’s the application like?

The application for Network Services 3 will be intensive, so make sure you have some dedicated resources on hand! We don’t expect the application process to change very much. NS2 applications followed the open route, meaning it used a single-stage process with certain financial, technical and competency criteria. However, we do expect to see social value criteria coming into play for the application stage this time.

In our experience, NS3 is a long, competitive submission. But we’ve worked on previous iterations (all of our clients were successfully listed!), and it can be done.


What can I be doing while I wait?

Well, trust us when we say that the Network Services application process is a big one. Suppliers need to have high-quality case studies, answers to application questions, and the right plans and accreditation in place. So don’t go into the application process blind, make sure you’ve got plenty ready before the autumn. We also recommend freeing up some time and resources during the upcoming summer months, ready to use this time for NS3 applications. Please note: Applications are now closed.


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