GSA to Expand Beyond Phones for Mobility Solutions


The updated special item number will include mobile security, app development and vetting and more, instead of just carriers and devices.

In the modern technology ecosystem, buying a mobile device does not mean you have a mobility solution. In recognition of this, the General Services Administration is beefing up its Wireless Mobility Solutions special item number to include 11 new categories, including mobile device management, app development and more.

Under the current SIN structure, the wireless services category—which processes about $730 million a year in purchases—offers cellular service plans and mobile devices. The updated SIN will “offer an integrated acquisition approach” to supply agencies with a single place to purchase end-to-end mobility solutions, according to a fact sheet released by the acquisition team.

The new suite of offerings will include security services, application development and vetting, mobile device management and integration services.

GSA officials note that prior to legislation like the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act, or FITARA, and the Modernizing Government Technology Act, or MGT Act, most agencies would purchase mobility services in a “piecemeal approach”—buying devices from one vendor and device management from another.

As the interagency Mobile Services Category Team looked for solutions to rectify this issue, they began by defining mobility solutions under a modern framework.

“This led to a definition that accounts for mobile that includes not only wireless carrier services and devices, but also the security, management and infrastructure components needed to advance this technology in a way that agencies can leverage it to more efficiently meet their mission needs,” officials wrote in a post on GSA’s Interact site. From there, it was about building an acquisition strategy enabling agencies to buy mobility products and services under this definition.

“The SIN is being expanded to reflect how federal agencies are now buying mobility with a more enterprise approach,” the fact sheet states.

The proposed categories include:

  • wireless carrier services,
  • mobility infrastructure,
  • mobility as a service,
  • enterprise mobility management,
  • mobile backend as a service,
  • telecom expense management,
  • mobile application vetting,
  • mobile threat protection,
  • mobile identity management,
  • internet of things, and
  • other/mobile services.

GSA also plans to wrap in existing wireless blanket purchasing agreements with the four major carriers—AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon—into the updated SIN as those BPAs expire in November

Besides putting all the offerings in one place, GSA is trying to make the order process easier, as well. The agency is launching the wireless request for quotes tool, which will let purchasing agencies plug in their requirements into a standard task order template.

Officials plan to award spots on the new SIN categories by Dec. 6. The acquisition team will hold a webinar Wednesday at 2 p.m.