Monday, July 8, 2013

Motorola believes FirstNet is not the answer for the National Public Safety Broadband Network.....and I agree!

An interesting article by Tony Romm of Politico titled, “Motorola Solutions aims to nix FirstNet”.

What would you expect? Of course Motorola would make a push to abolish something that will strike at its bottom line…. Wouldn’t you? I’m just surprised we haven’t heard more from the carriers. Then again it’s obvious the carriers don’t see this as a threat, but rather a blessing in disguise. It’s already a statistic that the carriers are moving away from owning the infrastructure because it detracts from their profit margins. What better opportunity to have a broadband access solution that can build the same infrastructure they are trying to move away from. In fact they could even off-load some of those very same burdensome assets to this new provider. The fact of the matter is the network is real and it achievable. It’s amazing though how much everyone will protect his or her own turf from the unknown.

The solution, for Motorola Solutions (pun intended), lies in the States ability to “Opt Out” and build its own solution. By doing so will insure that Motorola can feel happy that its entrenched relationship will stay intact – when in fact they were never threatened. Motorola is an access device creator! What better way to expand your product line than introducing a new medium for the devices to connect with. But maybe what Motorola is really trying to say is that the broadband solution is a good idea but that FirstNet is the wrong way of delivering it. Maybe they are trying to say that the State’s need to execute this on their own. In fact I have sat on presentation panels with people from Motorola who in fact are pushing the Public Private Partnership model that I have been promoting for over two years now. Of course it took them awhile to come around, but the fact is they are promoting it now -- but why? Why undercut (or the perception there of) FirstNet? If that is the case then they are really sounding a lot like me! I have stated this over and over again, there is only one way for this network to be successfully deployed and maintained for the long-term – through a State controlled Public Private Partnership with the Private Equity market. Maybe their true intent is another, more potent, meaning to Motorola’s approach?

FirstNet is in fact an organization that truly believes that the best way for this network to operate is at the national level – which is not true. If you dig deep into AT&T or Verizon you will soon see that the actual management of their networks is based on regional control, not national control. FirstNet believes that it needs to create its own AT&T, or Verizon, shell to successfully deploy this network and operate it from the context of a national provider. That is definitely the wrong way to go at this. Have you ever seen anyone create a corporation from the top down? No! That has always been at the heart of the problems with federal organizations – you can’t fix a local regional problem by attacking it from the top down. It doesn’t work. Every company ever founded started from the ground up. In this case the ground up starts with the State – not the federal government. Maybe this is what Motorola is really trying to convey in its lobbying efforts? In actuality Motorola’s chances of success are inherent within its existing relationships and the local level…. what better way to be successful than to build such a national network from the local level – or the ground up?

All said and done it’s not a question of the technology. FirstNet can dictate all the technical standards it wants.  The real question lies in the business model and that business model needs to start at the local level – the State level. There is no better business model that aligns all party’s needs, and desires, than through a Public Private Partnership with Private Equity at the local level. I believe that Motorola understands this and this is what they are trying to convey to the market. Take it from a guy who does not carry the stigma of a vendor stereotype – there is no better model for FirstNet than the Public Private Partnership between the State and the Private Equity market. Can we stop wasting time and start the planning for the governance control of all the State P3 models with FirstNet? Can FirstNet just listen to people like me and stop believing they are the only ones that know how to build this network? I am not a Fire Chief, nor a Police Chief, nor do I claim to be a carrier executive. I am just a guy who has worked in the telecom industry for more than 25 years and I am the only one in the nation who has dedicated 10-years of his life studying the P3 models for advancing telecommunications programs in the vertical industries (don’t hold that against me). I may be able to assist in this regard. But then again in their eyes I’m…..

Just some guy and a blog….

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