Oklahoma and Missouri have issued requests for proposals (RFPs) designed to solicit bids to build and maintain the public-safety LTE radio access networks (RAN) in the respective states, if their governors decide to pursue the “opt-out” alternative to the proposed FirstNet buildout later this year.

Oklahoma released its RFP on July 18, and bids are due on Aug. 16. Missouri issued its RFP on July 21, with bids due on Aug. 21. With the actions by Oklahoma and Missouri, 11 states have initiated procurements to select a potential vendor that would build the RAN within the state under an “opt-out” scenario.

As with other states, Oklahoma and Missouri emphasized in their RFPs that actual contracts from the procurements would be awarded only if the state’s governor declines to accept the FirstNet deployment plan for the state and decides to pursue the “opt-out” alternative, which would make the state responsible for building and maintaining the RAN within its borders during the next 25 years.

However, Oklahoma state law requires the state to approach the potential RAN procurement as 25 one-year contracts instead of a single contract covering the entire 25-year period, according to the RFP.

“Under Oklahoma law, the State may not contract for a period longer than one year (the ‘Initial Term’),” the Oklahoma RFP states. “By mutual consent of the parties hereto, it is intended that there shall be twenty -four (24) options to renew, subject to the terms and conditions set forth herein, each for duration of one (1) year.

“After the Initial Term, the agreement may be renewed annually upon mutual written consent of the parties.”

Missouri’s RFP also includes a couple of interesting “desirable” wrinkles. It would be “highly desirable” for Missouri public-safety users to be provided access to the RAN at “reduced costs or no cost,” according to the RFP.

In addition, the Missouri RFP also indicates that the state is open to the RAN vendor transforming 12 MHz of public-safety 700 MHz narrowband LMR spectrum to broadband uses within the state. While this proposed LMR-to-LTE transition is deemed to be a “desirable”—not mandatory—item, a vendor proposing such a change would be required to meet certain stipulations, including the relocation of incumbent narrowband-spectrum users “to other available narrowband frequencies at no cost to the users or the state,” according to the RFP.

With the RFPs, Oklahoma and Missouri join nine other states that have initiated procurements in an effort to select a vendor to build and maintain an LTE RAN as an alternative to accepting the deployment plan released by FirstNet and AT&T—FirstNet’s nationwide contractor—on June 19.