Motorola Solutions yesterday acknowledged that it also proposed a TETRA solution in an attempt to win a bus-system radio contract for the New York Transit Authority and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in New York City—a project that the company has formally protested, in part because the company claims that the FCC prohibits TETRA deployment on the 700 MHz public-safety spectrum.

“MTA bid a TETRA system—they had chosen TETRA—and we responded to the bid as a TETRA system, and I don’t think P25 came into the equation,” Motorola Solutions spokesman Eric Torbenson said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “They asked for TETRA. We were prepared to give them TETRA. We bid TETRA.”

Motorola Solutions announced this week that it has protested the MTA award of a $202 million contract. In a Feb. 21 letter to the MTA Finance Committee, Motorola Solutions outlined the reasons for its protest, noting that its proposal for the contract was $35 million less than the bid made by Parsons Transportation Group of NY and PowerTrunk, the Sepura Group subsidiary that developed the TETRA radio solution.

In addition, Motorola Solutions noted that FCC rules do not allow TETRA radio solutions to be deployed on the 700 MHz public-safety narrowband spectrum that MTA wants to leverage. Motorola Solutions has filed a petition with the FCC to clarify whether TETRA can be deployed on the 700 MHz spectrum that MTA seeks to use, but the company did not file a protest with the MTA prior to the award being announced, Torbenson said.

When asked whether Motorola Solutions would have filed a protest if the company had won the procurement, Torbenson said, “No. But I think, process-wise, we would have to go through and make sure that what they’re proposing to do is actually within the rules.”

In its Feb. 21 letter, Motorola Solutions officials claim that one technical reason cited by MTA officials for dismissing Motorola Solutions’ proposal was that company did not have an FCC-certified TETRA radio that operates in the 700 MHz band, while the Parsons/PowerTrunk proposal included a TETRA device has been certified by the FCC for use in the band.