Arizona changes RFP submission date to Dec. 29, waiting for FirstNet contractor announcement
The state of Arizona has altered to Dec. 29 the deadline for vendors to submit bids to its request for proposals (RFP) to build and operate a public-safety LTE radio access network (RAN), if Arizona’s governor chooses to pursue the FirstNet opt-out alternative next year, according to a state official.
Timothy Chung, an assistant director for the Arizona Department of Public Safety, said the decision to move the submission date from Nov. 30 to Dec. 29 was made after meeting with FirstNet officials earlier this month and getting no firm indication when FirstNet would announce the winning contractor.
“We’re waiting for FirstNet to name its partner,” Chung said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications.
Arizona and Alabama are the two states that have issued RFPs seeking proposals for statewide public-safety LTE RANs, but both have delayed the bid-submission deadline after multiple vendors—most publicly, Rivada Networks—indicated that they would not participate until FirstNet’s nationwide contractor had been named.
With this in mind, Alabama chose to have its RFP proposals be submitted 15 days after FirstNet makes its announcement. In contrast, Arizona rules require that a date be specified for procurements, according to Chung. Initially, Arizona’s RFP called for bids to be submitted by the end of October, but that was changed to Nov. 30 and now to Dec. 29.
New Hampshire is the only state to complete its public-safety LTE RAN procurement process, with Rivada Networks being chosen as its vendor with exclusive rights to build the access network, which must interoperate seamlessly with the nationwide FirstNet system.
None of the states that have issued RFPs have decided whether they will attempt to follow the difficult opt-out alternative. Those decisions rest with the governors of each state and cannot be made until after FirstNet and its contractor submit deployment plans for each state—a process that is expected to occur about six months after FirstNet signs its contract with the winning bidder for the nationwide procurement.