Thursday, September 12, 2013

FirstNet - What should a State do?

As with everything we tend to learn from our mistakes the most. I would highly recommend, to the States, that they not only consider the impacts of the terms and conditions of their own networks, but also try to simplify their approach to the build. The LA-RICs project is a perfect example of over design, over legalizing and lack of willingness to support.

If you deploy under the Public Private Partnership model, that I've been evangelizing about, you won't have any real issues, because all the risk of the build lays on the private investors, not the State. All the State has to do is say what it wants, i.e. we need a resilient and hardened Public Safety Broadband Network built under the specifications that FirstNet has laid out and then let the creativity of the private investment teams take control. Of course, its not that simple, but you get what I am saying. Essentially, the State doesn't have to get down in the weeds and paint the pants on the ants on this one, just make high level assertions, and then sit back and monitor. In the end the State will be a board controlling entity of the new Public Private Partnership -- and collecting revenue I might add.

Looking a little deeper into the execution strategy of LA-RICs we see another important point to raise -- focus only on the civil construction, the LTE, microwave backhaul and your control center solutions first. You should expect that between 60-70% of the network will be civil construction related. Don't convolute your requirements with unnecessary Public Safety additives, such as mobile radios, handsets or vehicle mounted routers. Put that into a follow-on proposal. The solution should be mandated to follow FirstNet guidelines for interoperability and focus on the approved vendors, by doing so you eliminate the need to be overly concerned with whether or not any chipset or Band-14 devices will work...they will because they were already tested by FirstNet. Build your LTE network first, then build your Public Safety solutions into it.

Also, being that the network is 60-70% civil related construction activities, pick your primes to match the amount of scope. Why put an OEM in the prime when all they have is less than 20% of the scope? For those that need some help, typical civil related projects are best done by EPC (engineer, procure and construct) type companies, most importantly, those EPC firms that still do large amounts of telecom work and are financially stable, but then again if you follow the Public Private Partnership model I've been talking about, you don't have to worry about it, the Private Equity team has invested interest to pick the very best players.

Just some guy and a blog....

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