Monday, December 19, 2011

While St. Louis County Agrees, San Jose Declines LTE Deal with Motorola

Dec 14, 2011 11:26 AM, By Donny Jackson (

With San Jose putting the brakes on, Charlie Dooley and company are moving ahead. Will Charlie suffer another foon-in-mouth bout?

Citing funding uncertainties, San Jose City Council members yesterday voted unanimously against a proposed agreement with Motorola Solutions to build and operate an LTE network in the San Francisco Bay Area that could jeopardize the controversial project that is slated to receive a $50.6 million federal stimulus grant.

From Jaryl Jones (

Rockdale County, Georgia desires to update its public-safety radio system and is about to become yet another poster child for a project that will under-perform and cost much more than budgeted. Basic rules for successful procurement and project implementation are being skirted, starting with a RFP that calls for an “upgrade” of an old analog radio system. This effectively precludes competition from other qualified bidders. It’s like buying a new telephone system and requiring that it be capable of working with proprietary, antiquated rotary-dial telephone instruments.

The RFP clearly states that the proposed system price must not exceed the designated budget of $4,500,00. This will limit any vendor from proposing a solution that could honestly meet the County’s requirement, resulting in a situation where very expensive additional infrastructure equipment will be essential. Once the initial contract is awarded, the County will have no choice but to sole-source millions of dollars in additional equipment and services. This allows the preferred vendor to have total control over predatory pricing for the life of the radio new system.

From the Chicago Tribune – 11/29/2011
Aug. 15, 2006: The DuPage County Emergency Telephone System Board announces its intent to “purchase a county-wide radio system.”

Aug. 20, 2006: On behalf of the 32 mayors and city managers in the DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference, Naperville Mayor George Pradel writes a letter opposing approval of the no-bid contract with Motorola, saying the project lacks a clear plan.

Sept. 14, 2006: The emergency telephone board votes 6-1 to approve its $7 million contract to build a nine-tower, five-channel radio system to be completed in 10 months.

Oct. 4, 2006: The DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference criticizes the board for approving such a complicated contract too quickly.

June 28, 2008: After Motorola said it needs more time, the emergency telephone board increases the contract total amount to $13.6 million from $7 million – to add more station sites and frequencies to the system.

Dec. 13, 2010: The board again increases the total to $28.6 million. Saying it is no longer affordable to build a new countywide system, DuPage agrees to rent air time on STARCOM, a statewide network Motorola already has built for the Illinois State Police.

Jan. 1, 2011: Motorola misses its first deadline in the new agreement: delivering 1,800 new radios to the county by the beginning of the new year.

Nov. 21, 2011: Emergency telephone board chairman Pat O’Shea reports that the system will not be up and running by its current target date of Dec. 1, 2011. Motorola declines to comment. O’Shea says he hopes the project will be completed by the end of 2012.

The following article appeared in the 09/23/2011 edition of the Chicago Tribune.
By John Byrne / Tribune reporter
7:35 p.m. CDT, September 23, 2011

The city(of Chicago) has spent nearly $23 million on a new digital communications system that still doesn’t work after more than five years — a shortcoming back in the spotlight following a federal report that criticizes the Chicago Fire Department for not having enough radios during a December fire that killed two firefighters.

Yet as costs mount and test after test fails, there is still no firm timeline on when the system will be up and running.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:45 AM

    I’m sure that with Dooley’s vast, or is it half vast, knowledge of technology in general and electronics in particular he knows that the digital signals will be dropping out completely rather than just getting noisy and difficult to read when either the transmitter or the receiver are in an area where the signal is weak. You don’t need to be an electronics expert to know this. Just try watching over the air digital TV in a remote area or during a thunder storm. Sometimes the newest isn’t the best. You shouldn’t necessarily do something just because you can. As a famous Star Ship Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott will say two hundred years from now “ The more they overtake the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain”.