pdvWireless dropped from FirstNet consideration
pdvWireless, one of three publicly confirmed companies leading a bidding team that was vying for the right to build FirstNet’s nationwide network for public safety, this week received official written notice that its proposal no longer is being considered for the FirstNet award, according to the company’s latest SEC filing.
The contracting officer for the U.S. Department of the Interior—the entity that will execute the FirstNet contract—informed pdvWireless officials of the news on Monday.
“On October 17, 2016, pdvWireless … received written notice from the Contracting Officer of the U.S. Department of the Interior that its proposal for the First Responder Network Authority (“FirstNet”) Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (the “NPSBN”) is no longer being considered for the award,” the filing states.
With pdvWireless no longer in contention, the two publicly confirmed bidding teams that remain in contention for the 25-year FirstNet contract are led by AT&T and Rivada Mercury. Calls by IWCE’s Urgent Communications to officials from both companies were not returned in time for comments to be included in this article.
Most industry observers considered the pdvWireless team to be a longshot for the nationwide FirstNet award, because it lacked the resources of the offeror teams of AT&T and Rivada Mercury. Indeed, pdvWireless acknowledged this fact in its SEC filing, which also reiterated an assertion from pdvWireless Vice Chairman Morgan O’Brien that participating in the FirstNet procurement process would help pdvWireless prepare for its proposed deployment of LTE for critical-infrastructure customers on 900 MHz spectrum.
“As previously announced, the Company [pdvWireless] was competing with a number of other bidders for the FirstNet award, including groups that had significantly more resources than the Company,” the SEC filing states. “The Company, however, determined that participating in the FirstNet bidding process was in the best interests of its stockholders because of a number of potential benefits to the Company, regardless of the outcome.
“These benefits include the ability to directly utilize the business, technical and other information developed for the FirstNet proposal in planning and preparing for the broadband facilities the Company plans to deploy, building valuable relationships with the wireless and technology companies who participated in the Company’s FirstNet consortium, and raising the Company’s profile within the wireless industry and the technology community.”
In May, bidding teams submitted their proposals to build and operate FirstNet’s nationwide public-safety broadband network for the next 25 years. FirstNet officials have stated that the target date for announcing the winner of the procurement process is Nov. 1, but they have acknowledged that circumstances could result in the announcement being delayed beyond that date.