Serbia: National Broadband Implementation Programme - Analysis, Costing, Feasibility Study and Implementation Planning

Location:

Serbia

Business sector:

Telecoms, informatics and media

Project number:

50399

Funding source:

EBRD Shareholder Special Fund

Contract type:

Consultancy Services

Notice type:

Invitation for expressions of interest (CSU)

Issue date:

23 Dec 2015

Closing date:

22 Jan 2016   at  23:59   London

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Background: Affordable and accessible high speed, quality broadband is core to any modern nation’s competitiveness. Any country that aspires to compete effectively in the globalised economy and become knowledge services oriented needs to be better connected than most in the world. Beyond the economy, effective broadband availability is also increasingly a key conduit of modern society, in terms of entertainment, learning, health, civic and social cohesion. With this in mind, the Government of the Republic of Serbia (the ‘Government’) has adopted a number of strategies to boost the uptake of information communications technology (ICT) and develop the Republic of Serbia (‘Serbia’) into a knowledge-based economy. As part of those strategies Serbia has adopted a market-based approach to achieve the broadband targets, encouraging market forces to invest in broadband infrastructure by providing the right incentives. These incentives will include measures that provide regulatory certainty, respect of technology neutrality, promotion of cooperation between service providers, stimulation of demand and close monitoring of progress. Serbia also envisages that public investments can be used only in areas where there is a market failure and that they should be carefully targeted, so that they are not a deterrent to private investments.

Assignment Description: To achieve its objectives with respect to broadband, the Government, through the Ministry for Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications (the ‘MTT’) wishes to undertake an assignment to study the supply of, and demand for, broadband infrastructure and service provision in order to design, model, cost and map out the deployment of a modern high-speed broadband network capable of delivering the services necessary to serve existing and future demand, and to boost the competitiveness of the Serbian economy. As part of this study MTT also wishes to identify any barriers to entry, investment or innovation in the provision of broadband connectivity, and seeks to examine international experience in this area, particularly at (but not limited to) the EU level. From this analysis it is hoped that a particular option can be identified for Serbia to pursue and pilot. To assist with the implementation of the assignment MTT has sought support from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the “EBRD” or “Bank”). MTT and EBRD have agreed on a programme of cooperation whereby EBRD will provide funding to retain an appropriately qualified and experienced consulting team (the ‘Consultant’) to undertake the main tasks of work under the assignment. The EBRD will also be a contracting party for this assignment.

Assignment objective: The overall objective of this assignment is to identify the conditions necessary and actions to be taken to enable the acceleration of high-speed broadband roll-out across Serbia. Specifically, the project aims to quantitatively evaluate the economic feasibility of an investment in a network of a type that would serve current and future demand under different scenarios taking account of existing operator investment plans; scope for utilising (or better utilising) telecommunications infrastructure of core or non-core telecommunications operators (e.g. state-owned utility and transport companies) as well as identifying specific policy, legal and regulatory measures which the Government and MTT can take and pilot, within a defined period of time, to accelerate investment into effective national broadband infrastructure, while at the same time providing justification for any such measures based on expected benefits for the economy as a whole. To achieve these objectives, the Consultant will carry out the following tasks:

a) Report on sector background, identifying factors and characteristics which are relevant to, or might impact, the Project including any global and national economic and social factors;

b) Report in detail on the socio-economic character of the population in identified parts of the country in terms of density, age, gender as well as propensity to consume the available infrastructure of access to provide broadband services, as well as the market structure in broadband service provision. The experience in this respect in selected comparator countries will also be examined as possible benchmark indicators for Serbia;

c) Design and model the network (core and access) based on the econo-socio-demographic characterisation performed as part of the project, and on the analysis of the demand (different scenarios), both of which will be used to estimate infrastructure requirements to provide broadband services, while at the same time considering the use of broadband infrastructure already present as well as the regulatory environment with respect to e.g. ducts co-location and leased lines. Based on the design of the network, an estimation of the deployment costs associated with the network will be made. As a result, it should be possible to estimate the deployment costs associated with each technology in different identified geographic areas, thus determining the most cost-effective technology-mix for the provision of broadband;

d) Map and advise on the various implementation options;

e) Develop a cost and potential revenue model for each scenario in the context of different business models that may be adopted;

f) Perform an economic cost and benefit analysis including the identification of opportunities and benefits for the wider Serbian economy

g) Provide an overview of best practices adopted by leading countries or regions (EU and non-EU) in similar projects indicating level of government intervention, business and investment models adopted, end user charges and level of service provided;

h) Taking account of the demand study, network design and costing, and the conclusions of the study, recommend solution(s), which they would then articulate in a National Broadband Implementation Plan;

i) Following acceptance of recommendations by MTT, the Consultant will help MTT make all necessary preparations for the implementation of a pilot project for rural broadband, whose objective it will be to implement next generation infrastructure and offer competitive high-speed broadband services in one specifically identified rural area.

Status of Selection Process: Interested firms or groups of firms are hereby invited to submit expressions of interest.

Assignment Duration: The Assignment is expected to start in Q1 2016 and has an estimated overall duration of 12 months, though this duration in time might be extended subject to the performance of the Consultant, and the need of the Bank and MTT.


Cost Estimate for the Assignment: EUR 400,000; exclusive of VAT.

The consultant must determine whether any VAT would be chargeable on the services and the basis for that determination, without taking into consideration the Bank's special status as an IFI and state this to the Bank in their response to the Invitation for Expressions of Interest. To the extent that a consultant incurs input VAT on goods and services purchased in connection with the provision of services (e.g. VAT on airline ticket) which is not otherwise recoverable by the consultant from the local tax authority, the gross cost to the consultant of such expenses shall be treated as a reimbursable expense.


Funding Source: It is anticipated that the contract will be financed through the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund

Eligibility: There are no eligibility restrictions.

Consultant Profile: Corporate services are required. The Consultant will be a firm or a group of firms with extensive previous project experience in the telecommunications industry, particularly with respect to infrastructure deployment and broadband planning implementation. The Consultant will also have a successful track record with management of large advisory projects working with public administrations.

The project team should consist of advisors with the following expertise:

· The Team leader;

· Regulatory/broadband policy specialist(s);

· Financial/costing/modelling specialist(s), with specific experience in core and access network costing;

· Technical (telecoms/broadband) specialist(s) with specific experience in core and access network planning;

· Commercial telecom/broadband specialist(s)

The team leader will possess at least 10, preferably 15 years substantive experience in the Project subject matter. All individual experts should be appropriately qualified, with at least 6, preferably 10 years proven experience in their discipline areas in projects similar to the Project and have substantive experience working on next generation broadband network projects.

In order to ensure a consistent and effective implementation of the Project, the Consultant will be required to commit to a significant minimum guaranteed overall onsite working presence for the consulting team in Serbia, as well for specific key individual members of the consulting team.

Submission Requirements: Interested consultants are hereby invited to submit expressions of interest.

In order to determine the capability and experience of the Consultant seeking to be selected for this Assignment, the information submitted should include the following:

1. Company/group of firms' profile, organisation and staffing (max. 5 pages);

2. Details of previous project experience or similar assignments undertaken in the previous five years, including information on contract value, contracting entity/client, project location/country, duration (mm/yy to mm/yy), expert months provided (if different from duration), main activities, objectives.

3. CVs of key experts available to work on the Assignment;

4. Completed Consultant Declaration Form and Contact Sheet, the template for which is available from the following web-link:

http://www.ebrd.com/pages/workingwithus/procurement/notices/csu/contact_sheet.doc.

The above information should not exceed 15 pages excluding CVs and the Consultant Declaration and Contact Sheet.

The complete expression of interest (including CVs, Contact Sheet and Consultant Declaration Form) shall be one file (pdf or Word) to be uploaded to eSelection. EBRD reserves the right to reject applications of firms submitting more than one file. Only if the permissible file size (4MB) is exceeded, the Consultant may split the expression of interest into further files.

Expressions of Interest should be submitted, in English, electronically through eSelection to reach the Bank not later than the closing date indicated above at 23:59 London time.

Bank Contact Person:
Elena Kolodiy

Advisor, Technical Cooperation Team
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
One Exchange Square
London EC2A 2JN, United Kingdom
Tel: + 44 20 7338 6765
E-mail:
kolodiyo@ebrd.com (submissions should be sent through eSelection and NOT to this email address)

Notes:

1. Following this invitation for expressions of interest, a shortlist of qualified firms will be formally invited to submit proposals.

2. The Evaluation criteria and weighting are as follows:

a) The Consultant’s previous project experience in the telecommunications industry, particularly with respect to broadband infrastructure deployment and broadband planning implementation, as well as a successful track record with management of large advisory projects working with public administrations: 20%;

b) Level of local/regional experience, presence and familiarity of Consultant and team with local language and regulation/legislation: 10%;

c) Calibre of all key experts as listed in this procurement notice: 70%.