Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Public Safety Broadband and FirstNet -- Down to two LTE vendors -- Governor, what are you going to do?

As I predicted in my earlier posting on July 17th entitled, "FirstNet: we only have three LTE vendor choices that make sense...allow me to explain." Those three viable companies will now shrink to 2 if Alcatel-Lucent doesn't get it's act together. You can read for yourself in a recent article in Fierce-wireless, "Alcatel-Lucent's Combes: 'This company could disappear".

This would mean an Ericsson and NSN market for the majority of the build. This makes things less complicated. It would be even nicer if NSN were to buy out ALU, reference "FierceWireless Reports: Nokia's board considering NSN deal with Alcatel-Lucent". Together their product lines for LTE would be able to dominate the market to no end, leaving Ericsson with some real competition, but what about Motorola? Where do they play in all this? Unfortunately, much like the case was with LA-RICS and Raytheon, the scope just doesn't match Motorola's business. That doesn't mean Motorola will let anyone get close to their turf without a fight though, thus, the bad press for Motorola lately. Motorola has deep and entrenched relationships throughout the entire Public Safety space, but they aren't a data IP company. They will make a big splash in the handset and mobility market though, but they will face steep intervention and competition from players like, Cassidian, Harris and others. I would actually anticipate that these players will eventually see a consolidation as well, just like the telecom OEM space. For the time being, we just need to concentrate on the build out of LTE, and that means Ericsson and NSN (with ALU?).

So what next? Well FirstNet needs to get its act together, and some States need to grow a pair. The build is not that difficult to manage, what's complicating the matter is money. Whether its about how much it will cost, or how much the government will pay; or a State's decision to use a P3 (Public Private Partnership) to monetize a State's spectrum, this is what is holding things up. Everyone claiming they have the best business model. In reality, it really is quite simple -- just think like a wireless company that is being formed from scratch and then execute. All of your scope in the beginning will be about building towers, and less to do with, if any, Public Safety. The fight is all about who will control that company, both nationally, and in the State. It may be hard for a Governor to understand this, but he, or she, can create a private company that falls under his/her control, of which controls their own internal piece of the nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network.

The question is simple: Governor, do you want to control your own fate and create your own economic boom? Or, do you want the Federal Government to come in and do it without you -- at the same time taking your tax dollars to fund it?

Just some guy and a blog...

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