Under the Michigan evaluation process, a vendor must submit a proposal that receives a minimum score of 80 technical points—out of a possible scale of 100—to be deemed a “responsible bidder” that warrants further review, according to the state’s recommendation document. Rivada Networks—bidding under the “Rivada Michigan” moniker—submitted the lone proposal to meet this standard, receiving the minimum score of 80.

Michigan’s evaluators gave Rivada Michigan high scores for its coverage maps, deployment timetable and system design for security. Concerns about Rivada Michigan bid included “failure to identify a no-cost model” for Michigan and a note that the proposal “left the state responsible for maintenance and deployables,” according to the evaluation document.

Rivada Michigan’s proposal was judged to be vastly superior to those submitted by Macquarie Infrastructure Development and Crown Castle, which garnered scores of 35 and 3 technical points, respectively.

Based on the evaluation, the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB) office recommended that the Rivada Michigan proposal be compared with the FirstNet public-safety LTE state plan “to determine the best-value bid.”

Calls to Rivada Networks were not returned in time to include a company comment in this article.

AT&T officials have stated that deployment of LTE on FirstNet’s 700 MHz Band 14 spectrum could begin as early as this year in certain parts of the country. Public-safety agencies in “opt-in” states are eligible to sign FirstNet contracts that give first responders priority access across AT&T’s commercial networks immediately and preemptive access by the end of the year.

“Michigan issued a comprehensive RFP, and the governor and lieutenant governor ultimately decided that FirstNet and AT&T are best positioned to deliver the coverage, value and experience that the state’s public safety community expects,” Jim Murray, president of AT&T Michigan, said in a prepared statement. “It’s an honor to serve Michigan’s fire, police, EMS and other public safety personnel. It’s our mission to help these brave men and women carry out their important mission.”