No formal announcement has yet been made, but it appears U.S. wireless carrier AT&T is poised to win the FirstNet buildout contract.
In an 8K form filed on Friday, AT&T said the First Responder Network identified it as a bidder within the “competitive range,” and noted it believes there are no other competitors left standing.
According to the carrier, fellow bidders pdvWireless Inc. and Rivada Mercury have both been eliminated from the RFP process. AT&T said pdvWireless in October stated it was no longer in the running to snag the contract award, and Rivada Mercury in November filed a motion with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims protesting FirstNet’s decision to exclude its proposal from the competitive range.
“Based on Rivada’s court filing and pdvWireless’ public statements, AT&T is not aware of any other bidders who remain within the ‘competitive range’ of the First Responder Network procurement,” the carrier wrote in the 8K filing. “Should AT&T’s bid be accepted, we look forward to serving the public safety community through this contract and making a significant investment in the infrastructure of our country.”
AT&T noted the actual reach of the network and necessary investments has yet to be determined and will depend on “the election to participate by the individual States.”
Back at the end of October, FirstNet issued a statement delaying its intended Nov. 1 announcement of a contract winner. At the time, FirstNet CEO Mike Poth said the procurement process was taking longer than expected and would extend beyond its target date. Poth did not give a new deadline for award of the contract but said FirstNet would continue to work with Federal partners to complete the RFP process “as swiftly as possible.”
Though FirstNet is not permitted to disclose who is in the running for the contract, Rivada Mercury and AT&T have both previously confirmed their participation. Analysts have also floated Verizon as a potential competitor, but CEO Lowell McAdam has declined to comment on the matter.