The European Union has awarded outsourcer Steria a €6 million (£5.1 million) secure communications network contract.
The Steria deal is with the General Secretariat of the European Union to "modernise and secure the communications networks used to share information internally and with member states", said the EU.
The four-year framework contract is for a period of four years and renewable twice for an additional period of one year.
Under the terms of the contract Steria will standardise the existing PKI (public key infrastructure) network and make it "more forward-compatible, as well as increasing its robustness and reliability", the EU said.
The upgrade aims to boost interoperability between the EU's systems and those of member states. It will also support the simplification and automation of all related procedures.
Steria will deliver the work in partnership with the Open Trust for PKI software, Safenet for infrastructure components and Gemalto for the provision of smart cards to support mobility.
In December 2013, Steria signed a partnership agreement with fellow supplier Unisys to modernise the communications network of the European Commission's Directorate General for Taxation and Customs Union.
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