While others seeking to build a nationwide public-safety broadband network for FirstNet remain silent, the one publicly confirmed bidder today announced that its legal name will be Rivada Mercury and identified several key partners on its offeror team.

Led by Rivada Networks, Rivada Mercury includes more than two dozen companies that will form a “first-rate” team that will be dedicated to the FirstNet project to build and maintain a nationwide public-safety broadband network in the United States, according to Rivada Networks CEO Declan Ganley. Some of the key Rivada Mercury partners unveiled today were:

  • Harris, which has decades of public-safety and federal-government contracting experience;
  • Ericsson and Nokia (which recently completed its purchase of Alcatel-Lucent), the two leading LTE-equipment providers that serve the U.S. market;
  • Fujitsu Network Communications, a leading backhaul provider and logistics manager;
  • Black & Veatch, one of the largest telecom construction firms in the U.S.; and
  • Intel Security, which is tasked with developing and implementing the critical cybersecurity strategy for the proposed first-responder system.

In addition, Rivada Mercury will have carrier partners—one “major carrier partner” and rural carrier partners, Ganley said. Having carrier partners is crucial for any offeror team, because the FirstNet request for proposals (RFP) stipulates that the contractor must provide coverage to 95% of the U.S. population on non-Band 14 spectrum six months after the contract is signed—perhaps by this time next year—that public safety can use until the nationwide public-safety LTE network is built on FirstNet's 700 MHz Band spectrum.

“I cannot disclose who our carrier partner is, but suffice to say the following: We will have the largest non-Band 14 MVNO footprint in America,” Ganley said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “So, we have a very strong non-Band 14 solution and appropriate partners and teaming agreements in place to deliver that. It’s obviously highly competitively sensitive, so we’re not going to be telling our competitors today who that is.”

Leading the Rivada Mercury team will be CEO Joe Euteneuer, who recently was announced as co-CEO of Rivada Networks.

“The Rivada Mercury team is comprised of proven technology companies—each leaders in their field with unmatched technology capabilities and experience serving the public safety community with innovative and forward-leaning solutions,” Euteneuer said in a prepared statement.

“Our team’s approach to FirstNet offers many benefits for America’s public-safety community, namely we will provide public safety with a purpose-built Band 14 network and immediate turn-key access to the largest non-Band 14 coverage footprint in the U.S.”

Rivada Mercury’s CTO is Dennis Martinez, who also will continue his in role as the Harris CTO. Martinez also expressed excitement about the Rivada Mercury team.

“The depth of the team is unprecedented; it is very, very unique,” Martinez said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications.

“I can’t speak on behalf of the other competing teams, but it’s hard to imagine that they will have assembled a team with the depth that we have. I am personally very excited about the consortium that we’ve put together. We feel very good about what we’ve done. We feel like we’ve put together a very compelling proposal.”