Contract would total about $280 million if all options are exercised; authority hopes to offload non-mission-critical communications to planned LTE network, in order to carry mission-critical voice communications over public-safety narrowband channels in the UHF and 700 MHz bands.
As expected, theLos Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System Authority (LA-RICS) last week contractedto build a radio system in a deal that could be worth more than $280 million.
The authority tweeted the news of the contract, which LA-RICS executive Patrick Mallon signed after receiving it from the authority board. Under the contract published as part of the board’s Aug. 1 agenda, the authority is obligated to pay Motorola Solutions $24.1 million for Phase 1 of the project.
Three other buildout phases, including a maintenance agreement that could last 15 years, are optional, but when added to the first phase, would total $149.6 million. If all options are exercised by the LA-RICS board, the maximum contract sum from the deal would be $280.35 million, according to information in the Aug. 1 agenda.
—another bidder on the project—expressed interest in protesting the deal after LA-RICS selected Motorola Solutions for the LMR contract, but Raytheon did not submit necessary documentation in July. While this allowed LA-RICS to proceed with the Motorola Solutions contract, it does not mean that Raytheon cannot file a legal objection in the future, Mallon said.
“Their decision to not continue with the proposed selection-review process does not preclude them from whatever kind of judicial remedy they think might serve their purposes, but that’s entirely their decision,” Mallon said during an interview with Urgent Communications before the LA-RICS board considered the LMR contract for the first time on Aug. 1.
Two days before approving the LMR deal, Mallon and other LA-RICS officials made a presentation to the to outline the authority’s communications plan, which includes the use of both P25 and board technologies.
During the FirstNet board meeting, LA-RICS officials noted that the(NTIA) released the $154.6 million in federal grants that LA-RICS needed to fund the 232-site LTE network. Last week, LA-RICS issued a request for proposal (RFP) for the LTE network.
Mallon said the LTE project is critical for public-safety communications, because L.A.-area jurisdictions are required to vacate their LMR operations that use T-Band spectrum (470-512 MHz) by 2021, and there is not enough spectrum available in other bands to simply migrate existing narrowband systems. Instead, LA-RICS hopes to offload enough non-mission-critical voice traffic to the LTE system to allow mission-critical voice communications to be carried over narrowband public-safety channels in the UHF and 700 MHz bands.
In 2011, LA-RICS had selected Raytheon as the primary contractor to build both the LMR and LTE networks. However, amid protests from Motorola Solutions, attorneys determined that there were problems with the procurement procedure and called for the bidding process to be restartedbefore a contract was finalized with Raytheon. After Congress passed legislation creating FirstNet and the NTIA implemented its freeze on public-safety LTE projects, the LA-RICS board decided to bid the LMR and LTE projects separately.