If California were to issue an RFP, a Rivada Networks bid would 99.3% population coverage and more than 88% geographic coverage in the state, Ganley said. This coverage figure would be provided by “between 3,000 and 4,000 sites” in California, would leverage the existing LA-RICS public-safety LTE infrastructure and would not include the use of deployables for coverage-mapping purposes, he said.

“We do not include deployables in coverage. Anybody that’s showing you a coverage map with deployables on it … it’s fraudulent—it’s extremely dishonest. As anybody in public safety knows, a deployable is something that you roll out for a limited period of time that provides coverage after an event has taken place or a planned event. If you have something like a major earthquake, you don’t know when it’s going to happen.

“Deployables are not a day-to-day solution. They are a backup solution that you use when everything else has failed, and your network has gone down. Somebody showing deployable coverage as coverage for the next 25 years either doesn’t understand public safety or has some other motivation for doing that.”

From a financial perspective, Rivada Networks would provide an initial level of service to public-safety users for $0.01 per month—the terms of the FirstNet RFP prevent the company from offering free service to first responders—according to Ganley. The state of California also would benefit financially under a Rivada proposal, he said.

“Over the duration of this contract, you are looking at—in terms of both cash and in-kind value to the state, plus the taxes—of about $4.5 billion of value flowing back to the state,” Ganley said.

“Of course, you should not be paying lots of money for things like ruthless preemption to your spectrum. Nobody should be charging you for that—it’s your spectrum. Ruthless preemption is something we know about, because we invented it. If you look up the patent filings for ruthless preemption, Rivada invented ruthless preemption and the methodology behind ruthless preemption.”

Rivada Networks’ business model is centered around dynamic spectrum arbitrage, which is designed to let the company auction excess bandwidth from the alternative RAN operating on FirstNet’s 700 MHz Band 14 spectrum to wholesale users. This patented marketplace approach has not been implemented anywhere in the world to date, but the concept was attractive enough to garner support from many financial institutions when Rivada Mercury—a consortium led by Rivada Networks—made its bid for the nationwide FirstNet contract that AT&T ultimately won.

Rivada Mercury secured “highly confident letters from the credit committees of eight of the top banks on Wall Street with our FirstNet submission,” Ganley said. “We would expect to not disappoint you with the submission that we would do here.” 

Many governors making “opt-in” announcements have noted that a key component of the FirstNet state plans is that the state would not be financially responsible for building, maintaining or upgrading the network during the next 25 years. Ganley indicated that a Rivada Networks bid in California would provide similar assurances.

“We have bonded,” Ganley said. “We will provide you with a bonded RFP, so that there is zero financial risk to this state, and we have backing from some of the largest financial institutions in this country on Wall Street.”

When asked by IWCE’s Urgent Communications whether the proposed bonding plan would cover the full 25 years of the FirstNet agreement, Rivada Networks spokesman Brian Carney declined to comment, noting the proprietary nature of such information.