While the Motorola Solutions’ radio technology will be deployed initially, Pacific DataVision is not limiting itself to two-way radio for the long term. During the past several months, O’Brien has been working with representatives of other 900 MHz licensees to ask the FCC to give them permission to develop a plan that would let a 3x3 MHz swath of 900 MHz spectrum—now owned by Pacific DataVision—support broadband instead of LMR services.

“Why broadband? Even if you are push-to-talk centric, you want all of the capabilities that you can get with broadband—mostly high-speed data and video,” O’Brien said. “We think there is a segment of the market out there that wants and values push to talk, but they don’t want to turn their back on all of the upside of broadband. Those are the ones we’re looking at—in particular, critical infrastructure.

“But for this kind of a product, they really don’t have any place to go.”

Last fall, O’Brien delivered a speech at the 2013 Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) Wireless Leadership Summit in which he said the private radio industry “can’t sustain” traditional narrowband-radio business models and should turn to broadband LTE. During his interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications, O’Brien said Pacific DataVision has not committed to a specific broadband wireless technology yet, if the FCC approves a spectrum-use change.

EWA President and CEO Mark Crosby said a draft of the petition to the FCC is being circulated among relevant parties, but it could be weeks before it is submitted to the regulatory body.

If the FCC allows Pacific DataVision to offer broadband services over its 900 MHz spectrum, the company plans to use a “build-to-suit model” when deploying the high-speed technology, O’Brien said.

“Our intention is to restrict ourselves to building broadband facilities only where we have a customer—particularly a large customer—ready to pay for it and ready to use it,” O’Brien said. “We’re proposing having a customer and working with that customer on a long-term plan to develop push-to-talk and broadband capabilities where they want it and where they’re willing to pay for it.

“The tradeoff is to give them priority access, which they wouldn’t be able to get otherwise.”