Astrium Services– Business Communications (ASV BC) recently signed a long term framework agreement (LTA) with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to support the 5 big UN agencies (UNDP, UNHCR, WFP, UNICEF and WHO) with a fully managed global VSAT wide area network.
VSAT is a satellite communications system. The agreement will allow each of the UN agencies to interconnect and centrally share data from various geographical, remote locations over a cost-effective, highly reliable and flexible VSAT network. In addition, the UN headquarter can remain connected to the 5 different UN agencies over a stable and secure VSAT network. Network security and stability is key to the UN, thus ASV BC has to ensure a 99,8% network availability.
The long term relationship between the ASV BC-team and the UNDP was important to make the deal happen. Serving the UN since 1998, the team say they understand and acknowledge the ethical requirements of the UN.
Astrium underlines the importance of networking as part of the NOREPS system, and points in particular to the added value of the collaboration with Innovation Norway and the Permanent Mission of Norway in Geneva.
The VSAT network of UNDP currently comprises 51 sites, mainly in Africa. With the signed LTA, the network will cover 61 sites within 6 months. With this contract ASV BC has become the primary supplier of VSAT services to UNDP. The initial contract duration is 6.5 years with the ability to extend for an additional 5 years, and a total value of approximately 45MUSD.
-After months of hard work, signing this agreement is a huge step for ASV BC’s NGO business, and it is proof of excellent team work and cooperation between various units in BC, says Morten Kval, Head of Humanitarian & NGO in Astrium Services.
Recently the Humanitarian team has also signed an agreement to provide VSAT services to the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). In addition the partnership agreement with Télécoms sans Frontières on Inmarsat and VSAT services will be renewed over the next days.