Qwest picks its Networx team

Qwest Communications International Inc. on Tuesday will announce its team for the General Services Administration's $20 billion Networx telecommunications procurement, said Diana Gowen, senior vice president and general manager of the company's government services division.

Science Applications International Corp., BearingPoint Inc. and BellSouth Corp. are Qwest's key partners for the 10-year governmentwide telecommunications and networks contract, which will be awarded next year.

Some of Qwest's second tier teammates include Akamai Technologies Inc., Istonish Holding Co., Nortel Networks Corp., Lucent Technologies Inc., Wire One Communications Inc., BT Group plc, Time Warner Telecom Inc., Comcast Corp., Hawaiian Telecom Services Co. and Cox Communications Inc., Gowen said. Qwest's team also includes dozens of small disadvantaged companies, she said.

Qwest will bid on both the Universal and Enterprise portions of Networx as a prime contractor, Gowen said. The Universal part of the procurement will provide government locations with a broad range of telecom services nationwide. Enterprise will offer a mix of specialized Internet protocol or wireless services in specific geographical areas.

The Denver-based telecom company is still in discussions with STG Inc. of Reston, Va., to be one of its teammates, Gowan said. STG originally planned to bid on Enterprise as a prime contractor.

AT&T Government Solutions Inc., MCI Inc. and Sprint Nextel Corp. have formed teams to bid on Networx Universal and Enterprise.

Industry analysts do not expect any other teams to bid on the Universal portion of Networx, although other companies besides the four major telecoms plan to bid as primes on Enterprise.

Bids for Universal are due Oct. 5, while proposals for Enterprise are due Oct. 24. GSA plans to issue multiple awards for Universal in July 2006 and Enterprise in September 2006.

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