Shared Rural Network

Answers to questions about the SRN procurement process can be found below. Find out more on the main Procurement page.

31 FAQs

Procurement overview

What will SRN be procuring?

The Acquisition, Design and Build (ADB) Framework was published in November 2021 and the Managed Solution (MS) Framework was published in December 2021. Other planned procurements include Field Operations and Maintenance services and Off-Grid Operations and Maintenance. In essence, SRN are procuring the majority of items and services needed to acquire, design and build the publicly funded sites, including site construction along with the equipment and on-going services.

What types of procurement will be run?

The procurements will be run under public sector rules and regulations. The exact types of procurement are still to be finalised for the later procurements but, at this stage, we expect “Open” procurements for most services. Details will be published on the website ( as they become available.

When are these procurements happening?

The Acquisition, Design and Build (ADB) Framework was launched on 29 November 2021 and the deadline for tenders was 4 February 2022.

The Managed Solution (MS) Framework was published on 22 December 2021 and the deadline for tenders was 4 March 2022.

The Transmission Framework was published on 27 May 2022 and the Off-Grid Power Services Framework was published on 15 July 2022.  Neither of these was awarded.

Field Operations and Maintenance Services and Off-Grid Operations and Maintenance Services are yet to be published.

Are you going to meet with suppliers before you start the procurements?

We met with some potential bidders between October 2020 and the start of the procurements. These were a combination of 1-2-1 meetings and a larger supplier event towards the end of 2020.  More information on any future activities will be published on

Will smaller organisations also be considered?

The procurements will be open to organisations of all sizes.

Are the procurements under public- or private-sector procurement rules?

The procurements will be run using guidelines and processes detailed in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (“PCR15”) or as amended by the UK later in 2024.

What is the expected spend (value) of these procurements?

The overall expected spend will be commensurate with the size and complexity of the sites involved.

I own land that could be used for one or more sites. How do I get involved in this programme?

Please contact for more information

I run a small, local, construction company and may prefer to work through a larger organisation. How do I contact those?

The details of which companies are registering interest are confidential.  But we will be asking each that does register  if they are open to us publishing (either publicly on our website or on a 1-2-1 basis via email) their contact details for organisations such as yours to be able to contact them.

Process and Governance

How will we find out about updates or changes?

We plan to send emails to organisations who have registered about updates to the programme or procurement but suggest that you also keep an eye on the SRN website.

When do you currently expect the project to start?

Work started at the end of 2022 after the award of the initial procurements.

Will the selected contractor/supplier need to be approved to work on behalf of the specific MNO and hold specific accreditations and/or will DMSL have their own pre-qualification process at framework stage?

This is addressed by the selection questionnaire which is part of the formal procurement process.

Will contracts already in place with MNO’s have any bearing on the decision making process for preferred suppliers?

The procurements will be run in a fair and transparent way so that all bidders are treated equally in accordance with the applicable legal and regulatory provisions.

There is advantage to alignment across many of the lots. Will DMSL be the body that binds the overall approach in terms of a programme office approach or does this sit with the MNO?

Each MNO will have control over their programme approach but we are open to suggestions in regard to this, in accordance with the applicable legal and regulatory provisions


Is the host MNO obliged to deal with the selected subcontracts for the lots or can they carve off lots or portions of lots to complete by themselves. What level of control do the MNOs have over the entire process in terms of selection, governance, engagement, outcomes, responsibilities and liabilities?

After the framework procurement is complete, each MNO will run further competitions which will award the call-offs, for the services they require, between that MNO and their selected supplier.

Will the framework contracts include pricing / to what extent will the call off contracts seek to alter any pricing in the framework?

The full details will be released in the ITT documents.

Procurement Lots

Will professional services be included in the procurement?

Not at this stage; other procurements for professional services may be considered at a later stage.

Are the MNOs themselves able to work on particular lots – for example site design – if they have the skills in-house?

Yes, the MNOs are able to work on particular lots if they have the skills in-house. If services are provided from in-house skill set these services will not be covered by government funding.

If owning an asset as a package of sites moving forwards – should they be standardised and use the same structures which presumably are shareable, and equipment?

Whilst we aim to standardise, some sites may require bespoke arrangements or change, for example in order to meet planning requirements.

Commercial model / asset ownership

Are there specific annual uptime targets for the sites?

Service levels of all aspects of the procurements are under development along with other parts of the ITT documents.


Are suppliers able to bid using a consortium?

We are happy for bidders to decide who they will work with to provide solutions, but we expect the contracting supplier to take full end to end responsibility as a “Prime Contractor”. Suppliers will be required to disclose all other parties that make up that consortium.


Would there be an approved list of products?

This is one of the areas that we are reviewing. We are open to suggestions on new technologies from potential bidders. Any approved bidder would be required to meet all standards, as set by each MNO.

Is it envisaged that the SRN sites across the lots between MNOs have the same equipment – towers cabinets weather enclosures to standardise the sites and designs? Or is it up to the MNO to decide?

There will be a common technical specification applicable to all sites, on this basis that standardisation of equipment across sites is expected, with some pre-approved exceptions. Each MNO will retain control of their respective site design.

Planning, Power and Transmission

Will concessions be granted in relation to planning given that it is a part-government initiative?

We are not expecting any concessions in this area.

Off-Grid Power solutions will potentially be required. Does DMSL have a view yet of likely requirements including economics of power provision for such remote sites?

A procurement is being run to identify products for Off-Grid.

Is it likely that transmission ’hop’ sites (inc. multiple) will be needed as part of an overall solution to link back to fibre fed sites/locations. Has DMSL formed a view of transmission network topology at this stage?

Transmission will be required and a solution and supplier have been identified.

Radio Plan and Site Split

As part of the initial radio planning have any locations been identified and has there been any engagement with potential landlords or local communities?

MNOs submitted their initial radio plans to Ofcom. A formal response was published by Ofcom in November 2020. These will be subject to change as more work is undertaken.

How does DMSL envisage the supplier and framework agreements operating across the MNOs and their respective sites?

The framework will be available for all MNOs to use across all lots.

Is there an approximate number of sites required by each operator to achieve the targets?

The programme is measured on geographic coverage delivered, not number of masts.

To reached these targets, each MNO will have a number of sites distributed among them from a total pot of TNS sites.


Has the government confirmed funding still available following the recent spending review?

Yes the government has included the Shared Rural Network as part of its spending review for 2021/2022.

Home Office procurement

What are the differences between the SRN procurements run by DMSL and the Home Office?

The SRN procurements run by DMSL are separate from those being run by the Home Office, such as Extended Area Service (EAS). Both procurements will be run independently of each other.