Wednesday, July 10, 2013

FirstNet Business Model is a design? Isn't it titled, "THE JOBS CREATION ACT" for a reason?

Just read an interesting article by Donny Jackson on the Urgent website entitled, "FirstNet preparing for individual state meetings" dated July 10, 2013.

What struck me as interesting is the last two paragraphs:

“Part of what they want to know, we don’t know yet,” Johnson said. “Which is, ‘So what does the network look like?’

“I don’t think I can say this enough: We have to listen to the states, harvest the information from the states and pour that into the network design. That will yield a network choice; that network choice will yield a price; and then people can start doing business planning around that. But we have to listen first, and that’s the phase we’re in right now.”

I think we got this backwards. Data collection is good but we can't design without a true business model. Reading into the statement I can't help to notice that Chief Johnson, who is definitely a great resource for FirstNet, is referring to the process as if FirstNet already has a business model in place. For example: if you are listening to people then refer to "the network design" would indicate that you already know what you want. But, in fact a proper business model will actually dictate all the high-level necessities of a design, which he highlights. But then he goes on to state we will listen, design then build a business plan. As it stands even the legislation already dictates an LTE network, so what more do we need? We just need to put together a good business model that exploits that technology. This is not new. Business models already exist on how to exploit the advantages of LTE. The best way is to monetize its use. Differing from the carrier model, which is to exploit the handset and subscriber market, we just need to know how FirstNet sees it business model moving forward. If FirstNet believes the carrier subscriber model is the model they like, then compare it to all the other models and move on. The fact of the matter is that for a private network of this size, and with the priority schemes and customer base, the carrier subscriber is not the best model. The best model is a Public Private Partnership model executed at the State level in coordination with the national needs of FirstNet.

With a proper business model, and the talks with the States, FirstNet will, and only then, be able to consider the best overall design(s) limiting each state to its own specific detailed design. What if through a states solicitation and procurement process indicates that multiple OEM solutions are called for as to illustrate a states compliance with fairness laws? What if a state already has an OEM solution installed that can't work with any of the other respondents? If we concentrate on the design before we define how the business model will be implemented and conducted between FirstNet the States, and the States potential partners, then this in fact just a federal solution (design) being forced onto a State.

What we need to address is the possibilities of the State monetizing its own slice of the spectrum as to help facilitate its long-term goals of self-sustainment as well as developing its Public Safety needs above and beyond just the network. In short, we need to find out how a State (and FirstNet inherently) will exploit the technology of LTE, and its spectrum allocation, for its own good. There is nothing wrong with a State monetizing the spectrum for its own needs! In actuality its a national necessity given the state of our economy and employment outlooks. The State, and FirstNet, must do everything it can to help the nation get out of its current funk. By just designing out a service network that a federal agency can deploy over the States is not helping the nation overall. Frankly its a waste of resources and money and in actually undermines our true needs and those needs specified in the "JOBS CREATION ACT"! Is it just me or have we lost site of what the whole goal is with the bill signed by the President? It's way more than just "Public Safety". We were given a cruise ship the size of an aircraft carrier yet we focus on the row boat in the back yard.

In the end what I would like to see from FirstNet is a business model that illustrates the product offering (not a design); how that product offering will produce revenue; how that revenue will be shared and distributed; how the parties will co-mingle; how that revenue will sustain the overall model; and how the model illustrates the best course for a proper design. I don't need to see a detailed design and then try to create a business model. Thats like designing an entire car and then trying to go back to see what the market actually needs or wants. It may be just me, but that seems like a waste of time and money.... then again it is the US car industry I used as an analogy.

Just some guy and a blog....

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