Rivada teams up with Australian bank in bid to oust AT&T from state-based FirstNet contracts

Rivada teams up with Australian bank in bid to oust AT&T from state-based FirstNet contracts

Australian bank Macquarie has stepped in to work with Rivada Networks on bids to build emergency services networks in US states.

The pair say they have already won a conditional award from Colorado to build a 4G broadband radio access network for public-safety services.

“We are excited about the opportunity to leverage Macquarie Capital’s extensive global expertise as the premier developer of infrastructure assets, for the benefit of opt-out states,” said Declan Ganley, chairman and CEO of Rivada Networks.

In March the US’s First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) awarded AT&T a $46.5 billion, 25-year contract to build a national emergency services network, that will use 4G technology to enable police, fire services and other first responders to communicate.

But each state can go to a separate provider to build its own service, that would be linked into the national network.

“For states that opt out, our two companies will work together to develop and finance the build-out of their FirstNet opt-out radio access networks,” said Nick Butcher, global co-head of infrastructure and energy of Macquarie Capital.

“We are pleased to have received the conditional award from the Colorado governor’s Office of Information Technology and look forward to working with the state to develop this exciting project.”

Rivada said that it and Macquarie Capital, along with their consortium partners, plan to deliver a network “which provides states substantial benefits – including a significant discount to the cost of service for public safety, job creation in the state, broad coverage expansion especially in rural areas, and real local control of the network”.

They added: “The purpose-built public safety network will provide greater functionality and lower the cost of telecommunications for public safety.”

The decision from Colorado depends first on a recommendation from the FirstNet Colorado Governing Body, but ultimately it is up to state governor, John Hickenlooper, to decide whether to go with AT&T or pick Rivada and Macquarie’s opt-on.

The governor is expected to decide by 28 December, said Rivada.

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