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DISA Establishment of Mobile Virtual Operator (MVNO) Services

Solicitation Number: PL831100010
Agency: Defense Information Systems Agency
Office: Procurement Directorate
Location: DITCO-Scott
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Sources Sought
Added: May 19, 2011 2:03 pm

Request for Information (RFI) for
DISA Establishment of Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) Services

Contracting Office Address
Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), DITCO-Scott PL8311, P.O. 2300 East Drive, Bldg 3600, Scott AFB, IL 62225-5406


1.0 Background
The government is seeking to extend enterprise unified communications (real-time presence, messaging, and voice) to mobile endpoint devices locked to an MVNO providing third and eventually fourth generation network service. This MVNO would offer data services only with encrypted Voice over IP (VoIP) services being provided by the enterprise using this link.

In addition to real-time media services, the Government acting as an MVNO seeks to actively manage and monitor the security of endpoint devices (smartphones, Wi-Fi bridges, tablets, etc) while minimizing the overall attack surface exposed to adversaries. The Government sees this as a niche telecom business ultimately servicing Federal, State, Local, and Tribal agencies. The RFI is issued as a means of technical discovery and information gathering. We seek to (1) validate that the Government's Mobility program as described above constitutes a valid telecom niche and (2) characterize the steps, resources, and lead time required to establish a MVNO that leverages the host Mobile Network Operator (MNO) to obtain global reach. DISA is seeking this information from industry, particularly MNOs and Mobile Virtual Network Enablers (MVNE).

2.0 Request for General Information
1. Describe your organization (MNO, MVNO, MVNE, etc). Do you manage your own network operations?
2. How many MVNO launches has your organization directly participated in?
3. Describe your experience with and expertise in developing MNVO business models.
4. Describe your experience with and expertise in developing MVNO technical architectures and implementation plans. What is the largest MVNO you have been involved with?
5. Describe your experience with and expertise in developing procedures and mechanisms for provisioning and managing MVNO subscriber equipment.
6. How well has the Government identified a legitimate market niche that can be addressed by a MVNO as described in Section 1? How would the business model work to achieve this goal?
7. Describe your experience in implementing security and device management for MVNOs noting any experience with Open Mobile Alliance standards

3.0 General Technical Requirements
Ideally the MVNO should be capable of supporting the following operational requirements.
• Support for 1 million or more subscribers
• Segregation and isolation of MVNO subscribers from the PSTN and the global internet
• Restrict service offering to particular handset devices (locking)
• Centralized provisioning of endpoint devices including SIM cards (if applicable), device programming, etc.
o Generation and storage of all cryptographic keys for over-the-air updates, etc.
• Centralized security management of endpoint and infrastructure devices (eg. remote wipe of data-at-rest encryption keys, policy enforcement, device integrity, etc.) including ability to accept, deny, remediate, or block devices from communicating with the MVNO.
• Centralized management and deployment of device firmware and operating system updates.
• Dedicated or otherwise engineered backhaul connectivity to Government data centers hosting enterprise unified communications services.
o Mobile endpoint to enterprise connectivity via an always-on IPsec VPN connection with no split tunneling carrying
 Secured Unified Communications Signaling (eg. SIP) over TLS
 Secured Unified Communications Media (eg. G.729 voice) over DTLS-SRTP
• Enforceable Quality of Service measurements for ensuring packetized voice quality
• Deployment of MVNO picocells or femtocells in isolated and low-coverage areas
• Robust subscriber management and billing capabilities
• Detailed reporting on the physical location (Lat, Long. plane only) of MVNO subscribers

3.1 Request for Technical Information
1. How would you architecturally isolate MVNO subscribers from the PSTN and the Internet when users are roaming on another network?
What interfaces, if any, would be exposed to the PSTN or the internet?
2. How would you ensure that backhaul to Government datacenters is segregated and protected?
3. Is it possible for MVNOs to administer Access Point Names (APN) to differentiate user communities among the subscriber base?
4. How would you restrict MVNO services to a particular list of endpoint devices?
5. How would you identify and/or remove non-approved devices operating on the MVNO?
6. Is it possible for the MVNO to fully control what updates get applied to devices? Applications? Is this device or OS dependant?
7. How would an MVNO manage services like key management for data-at-rest or "full device" encryption?
8. Describe the provisioning process for MVNO subscribers and subscriber equipment. Attention should be given to the division of labor between the MVNO, back-end enterprise, and the host MNO. How flexible is this division of labor?
9. How can quality of service be enforced for packetized voice? Address both MVNO and roaming connections.
10. How would the MNVO deploy picocells or femtocells to isolated and/or low coverage (eg. office buildings) areas?
11. Can you provide a notional architecture diagram showing the key hardware components and an overlay to that diagram showing functional roles provided by the hardware?
12. Have you integrated any mobile-handset anti-virus or network access control products within an MVNO before? Are there products in this space yet?
13. Given an MVNO of some 1 million users, can you provide a rough (order of magnitude) estimate for monthly network bandwidth required to support VoIP and data (email, messaging, web access)?
14. To what level of detail would you be able to provide information on the apparent physical locations of MVNO subscribers as they access the network? Address both MVNO and roaming connections.
15. Are you able to provide MVNO subscriber location information in near-real time? If not, with what delay?

4.0 Request for Business and Logistical Information
This section assumes a notional MVNO with the number of subscribers exceeding 1 million.

1. Describe the steps and timeframe for establishing the MVNO.
2. Describe the business relationships required to enable domestic and international roaming.
3. Estimate the non-recurring start-up costs for the MVNO.
4. Describe the supply chain and business relationships required for the MVNO to offer particular endpoint devices (eg. Smartphone, WiFi bridges, and tablet computing devices).
5. Describe the work-flow and estimate cost associated with stocking, provisioning, and equipping an MVNO subscriber with a particular device.
6. Estimate the typical monthly recurring airtime (data only) costs assuming we are extending enterprise unified communication services (VoIP, e-mail, messaging, web access) to MVNO subscribers.
7. Describe the processes surrounding billing assuming both the "unlimited" and pay-go models.
8. Estimate the number of full-time equivalents required to operate the MVNO.

5.0 MVNO Support on Long Term Evolution (LTE) Networks
1. Will an LTE network be capable of hosting a MVNO? Please provide a timeline for your roll out of LTE capabilities to your network if applicable.
2. Provide an architecture diagram that shows the changes required to migrate a 3G MVNO to an integrated LTE capability. Please include the Radio Access Network (RAN) and evolved packet core (EPC) network elements by vendor and model wherever possible.
3. Do you have plans to (or how would you) upgrade or migrate to new systems in the EPC to support advanced subscriber data management functions? What vendors have you considered for these systems?
4. When do you anticipate circuit switched voice services will be removed from your LTE network?
5. Have you or do you intend to implement packet switched voice service using an IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS)? Do you see IMS as an important component in a MNO business strategy? What applications are you planning to provide through IMS? How would an MVNO incorporate IMS?
6. What are your plans for implementing additional security in a core network? Do you see the need to deploy IPSec for network domain security?
7. Do you have any security concerns about the increased use of femtocells and home e-nodeB s in LTE?


This RFI is issued for information and planning purposes only and does not constitute a solicitation. All information received in response to the RFI that is marked Proprietary will be handled accordingly. The Government shall not be liable for or suffer any consequential damages for any proprietary information not properly identified. Proprietary information will be safeguarded in accordance with the applicable "Government regulations. Responses to the RFI will not be returned nor will the Government confirm receipt of the RFI response. Whatever information is provided in response to this RFI will be used to access tradeoffs and alternatives available for determining how to proceed in the acquisition process. In accordance with FAR 15.201(e), responses to this RFI are not offers and cannot be accepted by the Government to form a binding contract.

The anticipated North American Industry Classification System Code (NAICS) for this requirement is 541519 (size standard $25M).

Small businesses are strongly encouraged to provide responses to this RFI, in order to assist DISA in determining the potential levels of interest, competition and technical capability to provide the required services within the Small Business community. In addition, this information will also be used to assist DISA in establishing a basis for developing any subsequent potential subcontract plan small business goal percentages.

Submission Instructions

Responses should include the (1) business name and address; (2) name of company representative and their business title; (3) contract vehicles available that would be available to the Government for the procurement of the product and service, to include General Service Administration (GSA) Federal Supply Schedules (FSS), or any other Government Agency contract vehicle.

The responses should be in a white paper format, no longer than twenty-five (25) pages in length. Responses to this RFI are due NLT Monday 20 June 2011 at 5:00 PM Eastern (DST). Contact POC's are Maria A. Medina ( and Michael Lewis (

Proprietary Statement

Proprietary information and trade secrets, if any, must be clearly marked on all materials. All information received that is marked Proprietary will be handled accordingly. Please be advised that all submissions become Government property and will not be returned. All government and contractor personal reviewing RFI responses will have signed non-disclosure agreements and understand their responsibility for proper use and protection from unauthorized disclosure of proprietary information as described 41 USC 423. The Government shall not be held liable for any damages incurred if proprietary information is not properly identified.




2300 East Dr.
Building 3600
Scott AFB, Illinois 62225-5406
United States
United States
Ellen T. Crain,
Contract Specialist
Phone: 618-229-9679