Radio frequency-free wireless communications for secure access

Solicitation number EN578-20ISC3/78

Publication date

Closing date and time 2023/11/02 14:00 EDT

Last amendment date


    *Please note the ISC Website will be available on September 21, 2023 at 10:30 EDT*

    This Challenge Notice is issued under the Innovative Solutions Canada Program (ISC) Call for Proposals 003 (EN578-20ISC3). For general ISC information, Bidders can visit the ISC website:

    Please refer to the Solicitation Documents (…) which contain the process for submitting a proposal.
    Steps to apply:
    Step 1: read this challenge
    Step 2: read the Call for Proposals :…
    Step 3: propose your solution here :…

    Challenge title: Radio frequency-free wireless communications for secure access
    Challenge sponsor: Shared Services Canada (SSC)

    TAB: Maximum contract value and travel
    Multiple contracts could result from this Challenge.

    Phase 1:
    • The maximum funding available for any Phase 1 contract resulting from this Challenge is : $150,000.00 CAD excluding applicable taxes, shipping, travel and living expenses, as required.
    • The maximum duration for any Phase 1 contract resulting from this Challenge is up to 6 months (excluding submission of the final report).
    • Estimated number of Phase 1 contracts: 5

    Phase 2:

    Note: Only eligible businesses that have successfully completed Phase 1 will be invited to submit a proposal for Phase 2.

    • The maximum funding available for any Phase 2 contract resulting from this Challenge is : $1,000,000.00 CAD excluding applicable taxes, shipping, travel and living expenses, as required.
    • The maximum duration for any Phase 2 contract resulting from this Challenge is up to 18 months (excluding submission of the final report).
    • Estimated number of Phase 2 contracts: 3

    This disclosure is made in good faith and does not commit Canada to award any contract for the total approximate funding. Final decisions on the number of Phase 1 and Phase 2 awards will be made by Canada on the basis of factors such as evaluation results, departmental priorities and availability of funds. Canada reserves the right to make partial awards and to negotiate project scope changes.

    Note: Selected companies are eligible to receive one contract per phase per challenge.

    No travel is anticipated in Phase 1. Project meetings will be conducted via video conferencing.

    Kick-off meeting
    All communication will take place by telephone, videoconference, and Teams.

    Progress review meeting(s)
    Any progress review meetings will be conducted by videoconference or teleconference.

    Final review meeting
    All communication will take place by telephone, videoconference, and Teams.

    Challenge Statement Summary
    Shared Services Canada (SSC) is seeking a solution to provide secure high-speed wireless internet access using Radio Frequency-Free (RF-Free) wireless networking technology in secure GC offices and secure operational environments.

    Problem statement
    The challenge is to provide RF-Free wireless networking technology solutions to securely transmit high-speed data in secure GC offices and secure operational environments with ZERO interference where radio waves and wireless access are prohibited, restricted, and/or limited. Examples of environments include:
    • Secure Government of Canada (GC) buildings and offices;
    • Hospitals;
    • Military Operational Environments;
    • Underwater Communications;
    • Airplanes;
    • Underground facilities (Subway, trains); etc.
    The vision is to provide SSC and the Government of Canada (GC) with new RF-Free wireless networking solutions that offer wireless high-speed connectivity in secure operational areas where radio waves and wireless access are currently prohibited, restricted, and/or limited. Providing secure operational areas with secure wireless access would improve operational responsiveness and the morale and working conditions of those employed in such environments.
    SSC also sees the potential for this technology to be implemented in non-secure operational environments, such as offices and personal workspaces, including those of GC staff. These solutions could be used to provide RF-Free wireless networking technologies alongside or in place of traditional RF wireless equipment with the potential to implement more reliable and responsive networks that can be securely managed to protect the information of departments, agencies, and Canadians.

    Desired outcomes and considerations
    Essential (mandatory) outcomes
    The proposed solution must:
    1. Be Radio Frequency Free and utilize other available wireless channels for transmission (for example, but not limited to Free Space Optical communications and Li-Fi)
    2. Be capable of Full Duplex bidirectional transmission (transmit-and-receive data streams)
    3. Be a fully networked wireless communication technology
    4. Be able to service secure closed environments (such as workstations and cubicles)
    5. Be able to service open-air secure environments (such as airfields and tactical Forward Operating Bases)
    6. Be easy to install and maintain
    7. Not be intercepted by external users and/or devices (Interception Free)
    8. Not interfere with external users and/or devices (Interference Free)
    9. Have a maximum of 30 milliseconds latency
    10. Have a minimum or similar Data Transfer speed of 1 Gbps

    Additional outcomes
    The proposed solution should:
    1. Be able to Multicast multiple Data streams per Access Point
    2. Support a large number of users simultaneously
    3. Offer ruggedized and weather-proof version (e.g., rain, fog, snow)
    4. Provide military-grade security [military grade ciphers TDES (Triple Data Encryption Algorithm) or AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) and SSL (Secure Socket Layer) through 128-bit encryption;
    5. Be ready to be used in mission critical communications
    6. Be comparable and/or better than traditional RF-Based wireless communication technology in terms of speed, reliability, distance coverage, power efficiency, and ability to scale for multiple users
    7. Be more energy efficient than traditional RF-Based wireless Communications
    8. Have a lower or comparable implementation cost than existing traditional RF-Based Wireless Communications
    9. Be able to be used in Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Communications

    Background and context
    SSC continuously assesses technology trends and developments to ensure it builds and adjusts a GC network that is responsive to current and future needs. SSC aims to update its capabilities in how it delivers network or connectivity services to partner organizations to support modern enterprise networks that are secure, fast, reliable, and meet the increasing demands of a digital government.
    A high-performing and resilient enterprise network is key to realizing a digital government and to providing digital services to public servants and Canadians. SSC provides the network infrastructure, and operational and security services to ensure that government departments and agencies have reliable and secure networks that allow service delivery to Canadians. The secure infrastructure SSC also provides safeguards information, assets, and services in accordance with GC policies.
    SSC is required to provide a reliable and secure network that can accommodate user demand and mobility while remaining secure and accessible from any location and at any time, to anyone that needs to access them. Secure areas have specific wireless restrictions and prohibitions; despite these restrictions, SSC is interested in pursuing technologies that can overcome these restrictions.


    Mission critical:
    Any telecommunications or information system that is defined as a national security system (FISMA) or processes any information the loss, misuse, disclosure, or unauthorized access to or modification of, would have a debilitating impact on the mission of an agency. (Mission Critical – NIST)

    Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Communications:
    Automated data transmission and measurement between mechanical or electronic devices. The key components of an M2M system are: Field-deployed wireless devices with embedded sensors or RFID-Wireless communication networks with complementary wireline access includes, but is not limited to cellular communication, Wi-Fi, ZigBee, WiMAX, wireless LAN (WLAN), generic DSL (xDSL) and fiber to the x (FTTx). (Gartner IT Glossary)

    Contract duration

    The estimated contract period will be 12 month(s).

    Trade agreements

    • No trade agreements are applicable to this solicitation process

    Reason for limited tendering

    A contracting officer can use limited tendering for specific reasons outlined in the applicable trade agreements. The reason for this contract is described below:

    • Prototype Purchase

    Partner with another business

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    Businesses interested in partnering for this tender opportunity:
    Note: Information may not be available in both English and French. This is because the Official Languages Act does not apply.

    Contact information

    Contracting organization

    Group, PSPC

    10 Wellington

    Gatineau, QC, K1A 0S5
    Contracting authority
    (343) 596-6165

    10 Wellington

    Gatineau, QC, K1A 0S5
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    Summary information

    Notice type
    Request for Proposal
    English, French
    Region(s) of delivery
    Region of opportunity
    Contract duration
    12 month(s)
    Procurement method
    Competitive – Selective Tendering
    Selection criteria
    Variations or combinations of the above methods

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