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Transmission tendering Transmission tendering Document Transcript

  • Transmission-Network Deployment9.1 Equipment and Services Ordering Process9.1.1 Planning and DesignIn most countries, telecommunications is now accepted as a basic part of theinfrastructure, along with power and transportation, important for thegrowth of a national economy. Telecommunications is also recognized as themeans of accelerating the distribution of the results of economic growth,including to remote and inaccessible areas of a country. Modern telecommunicationsis expected to usher in a global economy and a single world marketplace,making information in the form of voice, data, or video accessible topersons anywhere in the world. Studies conducted on an international basisshow a definite correlation between growth of the economy and availabilityof telecommunications facilities. Telecommunications is also an eco-friendlymeans of meeting the communication needs of people, since it cuts down ontravel costs and saves natural resources such as fuel and forests. It is in thiscontext that by the beginning of the twenty-first century, telecommunicationshad been recognized by the governments of almost all countries as athrust area in their development plans.As mentioned in the introductory parts of this book, copper facilitieswere the main media for transmission of information over long distance. Thenext phase, beginning in the 1980s, was the development of fiber-optic facilities,with wireless access being developed over the last few years. Many countriestoday are actually skipping the copper phase in the development of their413telecommunications infrastructure and jumping straight into the wirelessphase, sometimes forgetting that fiber-optic transmission systems are alsorequired in order to build wireless networks. In other words, it is difficult andsometimes even impossible to build a wireless network in a country that hasno fiber-optic or copper infrastructure.The transmission network must be designed to meet service demandsbut always with the most economical routing in mind. Two scenarios aremost common in wireless-network deployment.leased facilities and microwavenetworks. For larger networks, usually it is some combination of both,and even the completely leased-lines (facilities) network requires carefultransmission-network planning. Survivability and reliability of the networkare achieved by means of transmission loops.the ring configuration or acombination of star and ring configurations. Wireless-network transmissionplanning and design typically consist of the following steps:1. Define the customer.s requirements and task delineation (who isdoing what);2. Start with the RF plan and define the switch location, hub sites,POPs, and other important sites;3. Calculate the access (backhaul) and core network transmissioncapacity;4. Define and include future additions, upgrades, and expansions;5. Based on capacity, define the most suitable transmission-networktopology;6. Based on the required capacity and the network topology, definethe equipment required and identify suppliers;7. Determine the cost of equipment and services.
  • 9.1.2 RFQs, RFIs, and RFPs9.1.2.1 Definition and PurposeThe request for information (RFI) and request for pricing (RFP) are somewhatless detailed requests that are usually sent to the equipment supplier orservice provider in order to acquire information on their products and services.Response to an RFI could be simply a collection of data sheets, brochures,user manuals, and so on. Response to an RFP could consist of afew pages of standard list pricing, usually without discounts or additionalconsiderations.414 Transmission Systems Design Handbook for Wireless NetworksThe RFQ (or tender document) response describes in detail the equipmentor services to be supplied. The RFQ is prepared by the customer for thepurpose of soliciting hardware, software, or services information for theevaluation and possible procurement by the customer with a specific projectin mind. Answers to questions asked in the RFQ will provide the customerwith a better understanding, both in terms of finances and system integrationand capacity, of the equipment and services that the supplier (vendor) canoffer and provide [1]. Topics discussed in the RFQ are usually, but not limitedto, commercial conditions of contract, technical conditions, projectmanagement, quality assurance and reliability issues, procurement and deliveryissues, training and documentation, in-service date, and RFQ responsedue date.For turnkey contracts, a specific and very detailed scope of work documentis also included to define the installation and test services being addedto the contract. In some cases, different contractors may provide other manufacturers. equipment (OEM) and installation services. Equipment evaluationis usually based not only on the technical specs and price but on other criteria,such as experience of other customers in North America and internationallywith the same or similar equipment, warranty, and customersupport. Directions in which technology will go in the next decade and compatibilityof the equipment with those future trends are also important.Adherence of the equipment with all the existing North American and internationaltelecommunications and quality standards and interoperability withthe equipment of other suppliers is usually mandatory.In many transmission networks, speed of deployment will be a criticalfactor in the process of equipment or supplier evaluation and has to beaddressed and discussed in detail. All suppliers are usually provided with theopportunity to discuss RFQ proposals individually; after that, final discussionswill be held with up to three top candidates, after which the financialand legal terms are determined.Since the document is confidential in nature, it must be treated accordingly.The suppliers are not permitted to disclose specifications to any personor entity except employees of the supplier and its affiliates who have a need toknow and who have been informed of the supplier.s obligations. The suppliershould use the same degree of care to avoid disclosure of such informationas it does with respect to its own confidential information. The suppliershould always provide the information on the manufacturer of the equipmentoffered but not manufactured by the supplier and disclose any OEMagreements with other equipment manufacturers. The pricing model is usually
  • defined by the customer; it must be as close to the planned network asTransmission-Network Deployment 415possible and the supplier should try to adhere to the requirements and definitionsprovided in the RFQ as closely as possible.The RFQ should be structured to simplify the process for the customerand supplier alike. Responses must specifically address each point set forth inthe RFQ and should be clearly answered in the response tables. The amountof information submitted is left to the discretion of the respondent, but it isimperative that pertinent information be submitted and that those individualtopics of interest be dealt with completely and concisely. Those suppliers failingto provide complete and accurate responses can be discredited for thequality of the response and appropriately penalized in the response evaluationprocess. Should the supplier choose not to bid in response to the RFQ,they are usually requested to specify in a cover letter the reasons for the decision.The following issues are usually covered in the RFQ document andmust be discussed in detail by all bidders: Vendor.s market presence; Performance; Future product evolution; Standards compliance; Strategic relationship; Turnkey capabilities (EF&I-Engineering, Furnishing, and Installation); Alternative solutions and unique offerings; Technical support; Warranty, repair, and return policies.It is very important to use the proper terminology when preparing theRFQ. For example, will and will not identify requirements to be followedstrictly and from which no deviation is permitted. Should and should notindicate that one of several possibilities is recommended as particularly suitable,without mentioning or excluding others; that a certain course of actionis preferred but not necessarily required; or that (in the negative form) a certainpossibility or course of action is discouraged but not prohibited. Mayand need not indicate a course of action permissible within the limits of thedocument. Can and cannot are used for statements of possibility and capability,whether material, physical, or causal.416 Transmission Systems Design Handbook for Wireless Networks9.1.2.2 RFQ ProcessThe main activities in the process of preparing a response to the RFQ are asfollows: The wireless operator prepares the RFQ for equipment or servicesand sends it to the equipment or service providers with the expectationof receiving a response within a few weeks. time. The RFQ is received and analyzed. A decision is taken as to whetheror not to prepare the tender (RFQ response). The type of tender isconsidered and the necessary resources for preparation of the tenderare secured. Customer solution and tender preparation and the proposed solutioncan, for example, include the commercial tender part, theimplementation part, the technical part, and the service part. A risk analysis and a profitability analysis are performed, and tenderreview meetings are held with all involved in its preparation. At this
  • point, the supplier may decide not to respond to an RFQ. Tender finalization: The tender is compiled, reviewed, and approved. Presentation and follow-up: The tender is submitted as a systemproposal to the customer and followed up on. Tender evaluation: After submitting the tender to the wireless operator,a tender quality evaluation is made. The customer (wireless operator) makes a short list of equipment orservice providers and continues negotiations with them.For bigger projects, usually two or more vendors are picked to share themarket and provide backup in case the other has problems delivering on timeor at the quality previously agreed upon. The proposal for the transmissionnetwork normally includes the following information: Optimum transmission media and network topology to satisfy allthe requirements given by the customer; Dimensioning of the transmission networks; Bill of quantity (BOQ) and third-party-vendor connection plan; Pricing;Transmission-Network Deployment 417 Transmission services description [engineering, furnishing, andinstallation (EF&I)]; As-built documentation (optional); Network management system (optional); Responsibility matrix, also called task delineation list (optional).The three optional topics are usually not part of the tender; however,they are important for the contract negotiations and should be included in thecontract in order to support the handover of the implementation system to thecustomer. Transmission-network topology is created based on the RFQ content.In some cases, the RFQ clearly states all the relevant details needed to producea plan for the transmission network, but sometimes it does not. Whenthis happens, assumptions are made by the network planner. All assumptionsneed to be agreed upon or otherwise corrected when contracting the system.The transmission-network topology includes both the access (traffic in eachcity or region) and the transport network (backbone network), as applicable. Ifconnection to third-party vendors is required, a document describing the interfacerequirements is normally produced. A description of how to install andconnect vendors. products together with other equipment should be included.The topology of the NMS should be considered at this stage, as itis highly dependent on the network topology. The NMS outlines how themanagement systems and their respective network elements are to beinterconnected.The BOQ is based on the transmission-network topology, which inthis phase is still a theoretical model. The level of details in the BOQ can bedifferent depending on whether it is reflecting a budget quotation or a moredetailed quotation. Nevertheless, it is a list of all quoted items for the proposednetwork to be priced in the tender. The BOQ is created using standardconfigurations. The purpose of creating standard configurations is to minimizethe number of options, increase flexibility, and minimize the number ofspare parts. Spare parts can be included in the BOQ or listed as stand-aloneitems. Equipment and installation material spare parts must be considered.Most suppliers have a guideline for spare-parts dimensioning. Pricing caninclude equipment, spares, services, training, tools, NMS, and so on. The
  • tender can vary from case to case and can be made on a per-item, sales-object,hop-configuration basis or other.Transmission service prices are often divided into two categories. Oneis related to network design and implementation and the other to supportand maintenance after acceptance.418 Transmission Systems Design Handbook for Wireless NetworksThe following is a partial list of technical requirements, regardless ofwhat kind of transmission equipment or telecommunications equipment ingeneral, the RFQ is about: Services (engineering, installation, testing); Hardware (interfaces and redundancy); Performance monitoring, alarm information, and NMS; Access security; Operational support system; Physical and environmental specifications; Power requirements; Grounding and bonding; Equipment reliability calculations; Antennas and cables; Enclosures; Installation; Acceptance testing; Spares and upgrades; Shipping, delivery, and labeling; Technical support; User documentation and training materials.9.1.2.3 As-Built DocumentationAn as-built document is normally not completed until each site is integrated;however, it should be stressed that an agreement of its content mustbe included in the contract. It is advisable to prepare a standard installationdrawing or show the customer a real site, in order to minimize potentialmisunderstandings in the future. The customer should approve the standardinstallation. It is important to note that the as-built document.s content aslisted below refers only to transmission considerations: Site situation plan: shows the site location on a map; Floor plan drawing: indicates the location of the installed transmissionequipment; Microwave path calculations;Transmission-Network Deployment 419 Cable way drawing: gives indoor copper and fiber-optic cable installationinformation, may also include coax cables and waveguides incase of microwave installation; Antenna placement information: showsMWantenna arrangement; Alarm allocation table: indicates alarm cabling; Power distribution: indicates power distribution for the indoor unit; Transmission configuration data: gives hop information used for softwaresetup; Transmission rack layout: shows layout of the indoor equipment inthe transmission rack; Transmission traffic layout: gives traffic distribution on the T1/E1level;
  • Transmission trunking diagram: shows the transmission network; Transmission plant specification: lists equipment to be used on site,including installation material (e.g., cables); Transmission product list: lists main units including equipment serialnumber information; Transmission acceptance test document: confirms the customer.s siteacceptance; Factory test: gives transmission equipment test results provided bythe factory.From this overview of the contents of the as-built document, it is clearthat all installation aspects are considered at this stage. The as-built documentshows how the equipment should be installed on a site. In many cases, thecustomer is not familiar with the equipment. Therefore, in order to shortenthe approval process, it is advisable to prepare an installation demonstration.9.1.2.4 Responsibility MatrixThe purpose of the responsibility matrix (sometimes also called the taskdelineation list) is to clearly state the responsibility related to all areas of theproject. It is of great importance that all aspects are considered, especiallywhen the customer must fulfill a certain task. During contract negotiations,all aspects of implementation, such as the as-built document proposal, areconsidered and agreed upon by the vendor and the customer. The transmissionnetwork responsibility matrix can contain in excess of 200 activities.420 Transmission Systems Design Handbook for Wireless Networks9.1.2.5 Contract NegotiationsA partial list of the items to be discussed between parties during the negotiationperiod is shown here: Agree on responsibility (task and responsibility matrix); Meet the customer.s expectations on the network design by matchingbusiness and technologies to the correct cost model; Agree upon handover content and medium (deliverables); Agree upon acceptance test procedure and timescale; Agree upon how to report site progress and implement changeorders; Ensure that there is a legal professional present when preparing thecontract and throughout the project. There will be discussions aboutprices, timescales, and so on. It is therefore useful to have an experiencedlawyer who is aware of contract details; Create a standard site with the customer in order to avoid misunderstandings; Discuss site acquisition and civil works process; Discuss acceptance testing and commissioning.It is important to note that in large transmission projects, as in anyother project, there is compromise between the speed of deployment, reliabilityof the system, and the price the wireless operator must pay for the network.Spending more money and time in the beginning will guarantee areliable network that will continue to work even under unfavorable conditions.Implementing sound transmission-engineering techniques, such asring topology, hardware redundancy when necessary, and so on, will in thefuture prove to be a good investment.9.1.3 Negotiating the Statement of WorkOnce the great barrier of making the initial sale is crossed, the negotiationstarts. One of the great ideals of modern business practice is based around
  • partnership between suppliers and customers. To form a long-term partnership,both parties must reach a mutually beneficial business agreementthrough negotiations. In telecommunications today, wireless operators area small group of people that attempt to subcontract as many activities asTransmission-Network Deployment 421possible without permanently hiring too many skilled people. These peopleare required only during the brief period of build-out time (3.12 months)and become redundant after that, so it is wise to use experienced contractorsand consultants to do the initial engineering and installation work. Somewireless operators go so far in outsourcing that they even subcontract the networkoperations center (NOC) and operations and maintenance staff andfacilities. The customer, in this case the wireless operator, should provide adescription of services required; the provider of equipment or services willthen supply the following information, describing in detail: Scope of work (SOW); Prices, fees, and expenses; Terms and conditions (T&C).The wireless operator typically needs to negotiate with engineeringand consulting companies outsourcing engineering, supervision, projectmanagement, and so on. They also negotiate terms and conditions of theequipment procurement, installation, and testing with equipment suppliers(transmission equipment, such as microwave systems, fiber-optic equipment,DACSs, power supply, and battery backup). Long-term maintenance,optimization of the network, and even network operations couldalso be part of the contract.9.1.4 Negotiating with Telecommunications ProvidersIn the case of leased lines, negotiations are required between the wirelessoperator and telecommunications providers for the leased T1/E1 lines or anyother bandwidth, as required.Leased-lines providers are also service providers (long term) and shouldbe treated as such. They usually offer better terms and conditions to big customersand those contracts are longer, at least three to five years. Quality ofservice must be specified in the contract, along with the remedy in case thewireless operator has interruption in service, repair time is too long, or thequality of the service, when available, is unacceptable. In such cases, the customershould request penalty charges. Information typically provided by thewireless operator and given to the telecommunications provider(s) is asfollows:422 Transmission Systems Design Handbook for Wireless Networks Planned RF coverage areas; General area map of each market location and, if possible, apreferred-network diagram; Unchannelized T1/E1 from cell sites to BSC/MSC; Potential location(s) of BSC/MSC/NOC.The telecommunications provider should supply the following informationto the wireless operator before negotiations take place: Description of how serving areas are divided, and existence of localexchanges within a local access transmission area (LATA); Existing transmission network; Copper, fiber, microwave, and satellite in which cities and for howmuch;
  • Availability of the existing network based on the statistics and measurementsover an extended period of time; Diversity and protection in the network (e.g., SONET/SDH selfhealingring); General information about the transmission network and its capacity,POPs, features (e.g., MUXing), and equipment at switchingoffices, fiber hubs, remote terminals, and so on; Colocations and interconnections with other phone companies andother T1/E1 lines providers; Offered products and services; Possible network design and routing for intracity and intercity sitesand required capacity.Initially, the wireless operator will only provide information on thesearch rings (radius of up to 1.0 km, or 0.6 mi) defined by RF engineers.Later, when the primary site candidate is determined, it is possible to checkthe feasibility of the location from the RF and transmission perspectives. Thetelecommunications company site walk (site visits) should be attended bythe wireless operator.s RF and transmission engineers and the telecommunicationscompany.s outside plant (OSP) engineers and construction engineer;the site walk should be conducted as soon as the primary site candidatehas been determined. It is very important to keep the telecommunicationsTransmission-Network Deployment 423company informed on all changes, and the site locations should be providedas soon as they are finalized in order to shorten the turnaround time for orderingT1/E1 lines.A common problem results from the fact that RF engineers providecell-site and search-ring locations in degrees latitude and longitude. However,telecommunications company operators must have at least an approximate(and existing) address to provide quotes on the running T1/E1 circuitsfrom that location to the wireless operator.s switch (BSC) location.The telecommunications provider should supply the following informationon T1/E1 pricing structure: Tariffs (pricing) for private-line T1/E1s; Interconnection tariffs (i.e., per circuit or per minute); Offered plans and volume discounts; Billing methods in general;The following