Motorola Solutions is excited to be part of AT&T’s winning nationwide team, but the company’s role in the nationwide public-safety broadband deployment have not been determined fully, Motorola Solutions officials acknowledged during the first-quarter earnings call.

Motorola Solutions Chairman and CEO Greg Brown said the company “thrilled” to be part of the AT&T that was awarded the nationwide FirstNet contract in June, noting that the Motorola Solutions has been working “extensively” for more than a year.

However, Motorola Solutions is not projecting any new revenue from the FirstNet venture this year, he said.

“We’re excited, because this opportunity is all incremental to our core business,” Brown said during the earnings call, which was webcast. “When we look at what it could include; it could include software and mobile applications. It could include services. I think the most critical piece will be the interoperability with the FirstNet network to interconnect and interoperate with our installed base of land-mobile-radio systems throughout the U.S., and it could include next-generation devices.

“We don’t have any revenue [projected] in 2017, and we haven’t loaded any into 2018 yet—I think it’s a bit too early, and it’s too early to guide and speculate. But we’re thrilled to be working with AT&T, and obviously we will work more closely than ever with them going forward.”

When asked why Motorola Solutions officials on the call repeatedly used the word “could” in terms of potential FirstNet revenue sources, Brown acknowledged that the scope of the company’s role on the AT&T team has been not solidified completely.

“I think we’re continuing to work closely with AT&T, and—quite frankly—we’re finalizing the individual buckets and the opportunities around each one,” he said.

Brown described Motorola Solutions’ first quarter as a “strong start” to the year, noting the continued strength of its LMR business, growth in software and services, as well its position as a leader in the public-safety LTE space.

But the FirstNet award and the development of the Emergency Services Network (ESN)—the public-safety LTE network being developed in the United Kingdom (UK)—had many analysts asking whether LTE systems could “cannibalize” the company’s core LMR revenues. Bruce Brda, Motorola Solutions’ executive vice president for products and services, said he does not believe that will be a problem.

“There are a number of issues, with respect to the standards, that need to continue to be enhanced to provide true mission-critical support for public safety,” Brda said. “One that I would point out is direct-mode operation. At an incident scene, public safety will often switch to direct-mode operation. That doesn’t exist in the LTE standards today.

“As one example, that would need to be solved, and that needs to go through standards and then ripple through the ecosystem—being built into chips, being built into products and then being deployed in the market. So, there’s quite a long process that needs to take place before you could ever get to a true, mission-critical, public-safety-grade LTE for push-to-talk services.”