Mobile Devices and Services (MDS) Master Contract: Ordering Procedures

Overview

Agency Telecommunications Coordinators (TC) must follow these procedures to acquire mobile devices and services (MDS) using the MDS Master Contract.  Devices include cellular telephones, personal data transmission equipment, radio telephones, air cards and accessories.  Services are priced as fixed monthly charges for voice and other features such as push-to-talk, data, and wireless email.

In general, by following these procedures, each agency can determine user requirements, identify the appropriate device and plan and process an order.  Employees authorized to acquire a mobile device are encouraged to begin the process by contacting their TC.  Questions regarding these procedures should be sent to itpo.doit@maryland.gov.

Providers

The MDS Master Contract is comprised of four national providers.  Through web pages (Verizon, Sprint) or links (AT&T, T-Mobile), each Contractor provides pertinent information about the devices and services that they offer.  Although this information serves as a valuable guideline, it is not all inclusive.  Always check with provider's Account Representative (AR) to see if prices have dropped or special pricing is being offered when placing orders.

The Contract Links panel contains links to the preferred plans and devices for each provider. The preferred plans and devices provided should meet most agencies’ business requirements. If they do not meet the business requirements of an agency, the agency TC should contact the providers directly for information on other plans and devices available under the Master Contract.

Contract Compliance

In addition to following these procedures, the acquisition and use of all MDS must be done in compliance with State and agency-specific MDS policies and procedures.  Each agency must document the internal approval process for ordering MDS (see Item 4).  This documentation must be kept on file as a matter of record for review.

Procurement of MDS

  1. Determine User Requirements
    Establish the need for a mobile device or service by answering the following questions as they relate to the employee’s execution of their duties and responsibilities for the State:
    • Does the employee travel frequently?
    • Does the employee’s position require spending most of the work day away from the office?
    • Is there a requirement for the employee to be in constant communication with other employees?
    • Is personal safety a concern for the employee while traveling?
    • Is the employee required to work evening hours?
    • Is the employee required to work in isolated or high crime locations?
    • Is there a need to contact the employee after normal business hours?
    • Is there a need for the employee to contact others after normal business hours?

    Aside from the business requirements, it is also important to consider device and plan requirements for certain features such as:
    • Anticipated number of monthly minutes
    • Walkie-Talkie services
    • Direct Talk (off the network walkie-talkie)
    • Web and email capabilities
    • Expanded contact list
    • GPS-enabled
    • Multimedia messaging

  2. Identify the Appropriate Device
    Each provider offers a device at no cost to the State.  This device will accommodate most business requirements.  If this device does not support the majority of an agency’s business requirements, the providers will recommend a device and the cost of that device.  Examples of device requirements may include: 
    • Speakerphone
    • Ruggedized handset 
    • Bluetooth enabled

  3. Identify the Appropriate Plan
    If the preferred plans do not meet agency business requirements, the providers will recommend a plan and plan cost. The following tips are provided to assist in determining the provider’s plan that best fits the agency’s business requirements:
    • If minutes allocated to a plan are exceeded, what is the impact?
    • Is free mobile-to-mobile calling offered?
    • Does the employee work nights and weekends?  If so, does the provider offer free calling during nights and weekends?
    • What provider has the best coverage for the employee’s work and travel area?
    • What provider has the best coverage if the employee is required to operate outside the State or country?

  4. Obtain Approval
    After choosing the provider with the plan and device that best meets the business requirements of the agency, obtain approval from the Requesting Agency’s Cabinet Secretary, independent agency head, or designee.  The employee who is to receive the MDS must have completed and received approval of their agency’s Employee Acknowledgement of MDS Policy and Procedure prior to placing an order.  

  5. Create an Agency Purchase Order (PO)
    Following the ADPICS procedures, create an agency Purchase Order (PO). 

  6. Shipment and Invoicing
    Equipment orders will be shipped directly to the Requesting Agency address included in the PO.  Agencies are responsible for following up with the provider directly concerning the status of the order, as well as subsequent invoice and service concerns. 

  7. How to Obtain Replacement Devices
    If a device stops functioning properly, the TC is to contact the provider immediately to determine if the device is under warranty and initiate a replacement.  If the device is not under warranty, the provider will provide the price for the replacement.  The TC will order the replacement device through a PO.

Activation of Amber Alert Service

Prior to issuing a cell phone, the TC must activate the Amber Alert service.  The Amber Alert service is activated by going to https://www.wirelessamberalerts.org/index.jsp.  This web site provides detailed instructions for activating the service.

Termination of Service

Upon notification that a device is no longer required, is lost or stolen, the TC must contact the provider to terminate service. All notifications for termination of service or change in plans may be requested through an email from the TC or designee to the provider. These notifications must be maintained with the TC as a record of the date of the request for termination.