Raytheon Co. this week announced that it has been awarded an $8.7 million contract to deploy a public-safety LTE network in Adams County, Colo., and the adjacent Denver community — the first deal to be awarded under the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP).

Under the terms of the deal signed on June 28, Raytheon will build out a 15-site network — one that could be as large as 20 sites, if the Denver International Airport is able to participate — that initially will be designed to serve about 1,500 users from 10 agencies operating in eight cities in the area, said Bill Iannacci, director of Raytheon's Civil Communications Solutions business unit. For the Adams County contract, Raytheon partnered with IPWireless to provide the LTE infrastructure, he said.

“Our model is to try to bring the best solution for the situation and not try to do a cookie cutter for all,” Iannacci said. “We felt that IPWireless’s solution was a better fit for this job.”

Technically, the contract was signed with Adams County Communications, a non-profit entity established by Adams County. Raytheon will be responsible for system design, equipment and system configuration, project management, installation, testing, and training, according to a company press release.

"Raytheon took the time with our team up front to determine exactly what our needs were and proposed an LTE solution that was tailored to our unique situation that incorporates both public safety and critical infrastructure," Brian Shepherd, deputy director for Adams County Communications, said in a prepared statement. "Raytheon's solution allows our 1,500 diversified users to efficiently communicate during both normal operations and emergency situations."

Iannacci said the Adams County deployment includes its own LTE core, which can be shared with other LTE systems in the future — a notion that Shepherd indicated is a definite possibility.

"We expect the entire state of Colorado, and even the surrounding region, to build upon and expand the core infrastructure that will be provided through this project," Shepherd said in a prepared statement.

Raytheon also is in negotiations to finalize a contract with the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA RICS) on a much larger LTE network worth more than $100 million. For the LA RICS initiative, Raytheon selected Alcatel-Lucent as its LTE partner, Iannacci said.