Raytheon Awarded Public-Safety LTE Contract in Colorado (7/6/11)
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 | Comments

The second public-safety broadband contract was formally announced July 6 by Adams County, Colo. The jurisdiction awarded what Raytheon officials called “the first competitive public-safety Long Term Evolution (LTE) contract” for $8.7 million.

The contract will provide Adams County, Colo., and the adjacent Denver community with a 15-site LTE communications system. Adams County (Colo.) Communications Center (Adcom 9-1-1) received a waiver from the FCC last year for early buildout of a 700 MHz public-safety broadband network.

Adcom 9-1-1 is moving forward without Denver International Airport (DIA), which was part of the original $12.1 million Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grant. DIA is subject to numerous Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations that conflicted with some National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) requirements to receive the BTOP money, said Brian Shepherd, Adcom 9-1-1 deputy director.

“Some of the BTOP requirements might violate some FAA regulations,” which DIA must comply with to retain its charter and stay in service, Shepherd said. Because of the schedules required by the grant — the network must be built out by September 2013 — Adcom 9-1-1 is moving forward without DIA but is working with the city and county of Denver, which contracts service to DIA, to still provide LTE service at the airport, Shepherd said.

“We expect within a month we will be adding some additional sites in parts of Denver and looking to grow the network,” said Bill Iannacci, director of Raytheon’s Civil Communications Solutions. “We wanted to move forward with what we could — the 15 sites. The contract has an option that we can exercise.”

Raytheon is the prime contractor for the network, and IPWireless will supply all the LTE base stations and devices. Raytheon will be responsible for system design, equipment and system configuration, project management, installation, testing and training.

The technology is LTE Release 8, the required technology under the FCC order, and the base stations, called eNodeBs, are software upgradeable to Release 9, said Jon Hambidge, chief marketing officer for IPWireless. He said the network will be built during the next 21 months with the first demonstrations by the end of 2012.

"Raytheon took the time with our team upfront to determine exactly what our needs were and proposed an LTE solution that was tailored to our unique situation that incorporates both public-safety and critical infrastructure," said Shepherd. "Raytheon's solution allows our 1,500 diversified users to efficiently communicate during both normal operations and emergency situations."

The Colorado system will become part of the nationwide public-safety LTE network that will provide broadband data services to all levels of first responders throughout the county, said a Raytheon statement. "We expect the entire state of Colorado and even the surrounding region to build upon and expand the core infrastructure that will be provided through this project," Shepherd said.

Some BTOP money is being used to install fiber-optic cable to connect the sites and public-safety answering points (PSAPs). With the grant money and Adcom 9-1-1’s contributions, the total planned cost for the project is $18 million, Shepherd said.

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