Orange and Cable&Wireless have announced significant new network and telecoms initiatives in the public sector.
Cable&Wireless have signed a £82 million, five and a half year contract with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to deliver managed services to embassies and offices in more than 150 countries.
The contract is the first deal under a framework agreement signed between C&W and the government, with C&W saying it will save the taxpayer £90 million.
C&W will supply advanced IP data and voice services and will use its global shared services operation to deliver services.
Orange meanwhile has launched the Orange Health Gateway, its second new service specifically aimed at the healthcare sector. The Gateway allows hospitals, GP surgeries and pharmacies to use mobile communications more effectively.
It is deploying a set of modules developed by mobile healthcare systems provider iPLATO. These allows healthcare providers to send out appointment reminders, track and communicate routine medical results to patients, distribute emergency contact messages in case of an incident, and to send out automated messages for employees or patients.
Orange says that the appointment reminder tool alone could save the NHS £300 million a year by reducing the number of wasted appointment slots.