Top 5 stories: Week of Dec. 5-11
Here’s a look at the most popular stories on IWCE ’s Urgent Communications from last week:
1.“Motorola Solutions agrees to pay more than $1 billion for Airwave TETRA network in Great Britain” – Motorola Solutions has finalized a deal to purchase Airwave, the provider of Great Britain’s public-safety TETRA network, for more than $1 billion. Motorola Solutions intends to expand its global managed and support services enterprise by purchasing Airwave. The TETRA network provides communications to support more than 300,000 emergency responders in Great Britain, according to Kelly Mark, corporate vice president of managed and support services for Motorola Solutions. “We assume their operations,” Mark said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “Airwave initially will be relatively independent, and we’ll look to integrate over time, as appropriate. We basically pick up their operations, their people and everything that they’re doing for that particular network.”
2.“FirstNet board approves final RFP for early-January release, with bids due in May” – After what FirstNet Chairwoman Sue Swenson described as an “intense process,” FirstNet board members last week unanimously approved the FirstNet staff releasing the final request for proposal (RFP) in early January. Vendor teams will be charged with submitting their public-private-partnership proposals by a May due date. “This is a significant event that I think we will all remember,” Swenson said after the board approved the RFP release. “We have more work to do, but this is a big, big step forward to the nationwide broadband network.”
3.“FirstNet should be applauded for keeping its promise, delivering final RFP on time” – A vision of a nationwide public-safety broadband network became closer to reality when FirstNet’s board approved the release of the 508-page request for proposal last week, and the timely decision-making and leadership by telecom executive and FirstNet Chairman Sue Swenson should be applauded, IWCE Urgent Communications Editor Donny Jackson wrote in his most recent “Urgent Matters” blog. In the blog, Jackson notes that two years ago releasing an RFP at this time seemed difficult to reach, because the organization was struggling at the time. “Of course, the devil is in the details, and we won’t know about those until the RFP is released next month. But the fact that FirstNet will be able to issue this RFP in a timely manner is huge accomplishment, and all involved—board members and staff—deserve plaudits for making it happen under challenging circumstances.
4.“FirstNet names Bratcher as permanent CTO” –FirstNet announced that Jeff Bratcher—the organization’s longtime deputy chief technology officer (CTO) and acting CTO—would now serve as the new permanent CTO as FirstNet prepares to release its final request for proposal (RFP). FirstNet board member Barry Boniface, chairman of the organization’s Technology Committee, made the announcement during FirstNet’s joint board committee meeting in Houston last week. “As many of you know, Jeff has been acting for a while, but finally his acting career is over. We’ve now made Jeff the permanent CTO at FirstNet, and [it’s] a much deserved promotion,” Boniface said during the committee meeting, which was webcast. “We are delighted with that. Jeff has done a terrific job of not only marshaling technical efforts as it relates to this RFP but also building a world-class team of experts to help us in that endeavor.”
5. “FirstNet makes senior-leadership team permanent; “No more ‘acting,’ Poth says” – FirstNet CEO Mike Poth announced the permanent members of the organization’s senior-leadership team last week. Members of the team, which does not have an members working in an “acting” role, are: President TJ Kennedy, Chief Counsel Jason Karp, Chief Technology Officer Jeff Bratcher, Chief Information Officer Jim Gwinn, Chief Administrative Officer Frank Freeman, Chief Financial Officer Kim Farington and Chief Procurement Officer David Dasher. “The message is that there is no more ‘acting,’” Poth said during the recent FirstNet board meeting, which was webcast. “I have gone through painstaking measures and interviewed a lot of people. With great pleasure, I announce that this is FirstNet leadership team going forward.”