BayRICS, Motorola Solutions considering possible FirstNet agreement
Directors for the Bay Area Regional Interoperable Communications Systems Authority (BayRICS) on Thursday are scheduled to consider a modified agreement with Motorola Solutions regarding the deployment of a private LTE network for San Francisco-area first responders, as part of a spectrum-lease agreement with FirstNet.
BayRICS board members approved a tentative spectrum-lease agreement with FirstNet in July and approved revisions to the document in September, when BayRICS staff reported that FirstNet requested several changes in the Build Own Operate and Maintain (BOOM) agreement with Motorola Solution, according to documents supporting the BayRICS agenda.
One unique aspect of this project is that Motorola Solutions—the vendor for BayRICS on the project—has been awarded a $56 million Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grant for the public-safety LTE deployment, instead of the governing body representing the area, BayRICS. As a result, negotiations associated with the project have included representatives of FirstNet, BayRICS and Motorola Solutions.
All parties have agreed on language for the BOOM agreement and the spectrum-lease agreement, with two exceptions regarding push-to-talk functionality and the responsibility for future costs that could occur if FirstNet adopts new requirements, according to a BayRICS staff report.
The original BOOM agreement called for Motorola Solutions to provide a proprietary push-to-talk functionality, but FirstNet officials have expressed concern that it may not be interoperable with FirstNet’s push-to-talk capability, which has not been chosen yet. Motorola has agreed to incur any costs required to meet push-to-talk standards adopted by 3GPP, the LTE standards body.
The other key negotiation point is associated with covering costs to meet future FirstNet requirements that may be adopted prior to April 30, 2015. Motorola Solutions officials believe that the language proposed by FirstNet “amounts to a potentially uncapped cost liability” that the company “cannot accept,” according to the BayRICS staff report. Motorola Solutions has proposed alternative language that the company would accept.
To date, FirstNet has signed spectrum-lease agreements with the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System Authority (LA-RICS) and the state of New Mexico. In addition to BayRICS, FirstNet is trying to negotiate spectrum-lease deals with the state of Mississippi, the state of New Jersey and Adams County, Colo.