Rivada: Carriers are not the only potential bidders for FirstNet

While a lot of speculation has centered on which wireless operators will participate in FirstNet's bidding process, Rivada Networks wants to remind everyone that it's in the running as well.

Prevalent belief is that at least one Tier 1 wireless carrier will be involved, and analysts at Evercore ISI think Verizon (NYSE: VZ) is a good candidate. While Verizon declined to comment when asked about FirstNet at an investor conference earlier this month, AT&T (NYSE: T) said it will aggressively seek a place at the table. T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) said there were a lot of unknowns and seemed more interested in getting spectrum via auction.

Brian Carney, senior vice president in charge of corporate communications at Rivada, told FierceWirelessTech that he thinks it's a misreading of the RFP, which was released almost two weeks ago, to conclude that FirstNet is definitely looking for a carrier to be the prime contractor on the project. "We are definitely bidding," he said. "We like our chances."

The company says it can provide the value that FirstNet needs to make the project sustainable and Carney said the company has been in discussions with several Silicon Valley giants about partnering, but he declined to disclose specific names.

Rivada says its technologies enable public safety agencies to retain absolute control over their own dedicated broadband networks while generating revenue from unused capacity when available. Rivada's core technology, Dynamic Spectrum Arbitrage Tiered Priority Access (DSATPA), allows public safety to have priority access with instant (millisecond) pre-emption in the event of an emergency situation, guaranteeing first responders access to the bandwidth when they need it most.

Led by CEO Declan Ganley, Rivada's board includes former deputy secretary of U.S. Department of Homeland Security Michael P. Jackson; General Richard B. Myers, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Admiral Jim Loy, former deputy secretary of Homeland Security; and George Foresman, former under secretary of Homeland Security, as well as Chris Moore, former chief of police in San Jose, Calif.

Carney said he agrees with observations that FirstNet's final RFP was designed to leave the door open for bidders to propose creative solutions. "I think there's no question that they have left the door open for innovative and creative solutions here," he said. "In the broadest terms, we're pretty happy with the outlines… We're very comfortable bidding on the terms that FirstNet has laid out. It's pretty clear that they are inviting more than just the traditional solutions."

The Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communication System Authority (LA-RICS) recently declared that its emergency data communications system passed its first big test during the 2016 Rose Parade in Pasadena. That successful launch included no less than a dozen contributors, including Motorola Solutions; BlackHawk Imaging; Sonim Technology; Intrepid Networks; ESChat by SLA Corporation; NVIS Communications; Barrett Communications; Star Solutions International Inc.; Pepro LLC; Canon Cameras; Airwave Communications; and Milestone Video Management Systems.

For more:
- see this IWCE's Urgent Communications article

Related articles:
LA-RICS declares success testing public safety network
FirstNet releases final RFP for deployment of public safety broadband network
AT&T's desire to bid on FirstNet could pique Verizon's interest
Rivada's peer-to-peer location technology relies on devices, not networks