Let us start by laying the frame work here. Let’s say a good friend, spouse, family member wants your opinion on new clothes you are buying. Before they show you the clothes they say “the first one has some good colors, the fit is okay, maybe it is out of style and I’m not sure I like it but I want you to compare it to this other set of clothes”. However, they don’t describe the “other clothes but they want you to decide. Do you think you would get the feeling your being set up? If someone asks you a question and provides some of the answer it is considered a leading question. You know they have an ulterior motive and you’re getting sucked in. Well that happened recently with a new white paper trying to tell public safety how they should score the AT&T FirstNet program to determine if they should opt out.
We also need to say up front we are not going to provide the name of the paper, company or author for the simple reason that it doesn’t deserve anymore hits or downloads. Our guess is most of you will know which paper we are talking about. So, let’s not reward bad behavior by saying the name. Here you have a paper written by a company and author we have not heard of in this space. I suspect they are smart people, and it’s a good company, but I don’t really know. It makes me wonder what motivated this sudden interest in opt out scoring.
What we do know is some of the assertions are absurd. Here is one example. They have as a scoring element Pre-emption. They contend it is inadequate. Really. Have they been reading the current offer whereby AT&T is providing preemption on their “entire LTE network” for public safety to use. Additionally, AT&T has clearly stated it will move other users off the network to provide public safety access if required. This document tries to explain what the author thinks should be done without demonstrating a clear understand of the requirements in the FirstNet RFP, the work done by the federal evaluation team or the 3GPP standards.
Another absurdity are their comments on cost of service. Again, we don’t know where they are coming from. The costs have been provided to the states and everyone we have talked to says the pricing is good, yet this document seems to state otherwise. When you read their explanation, they assert agencies can’t afford the current price. We hate to be the bearer of bad news but the price is better than most are paying today. Even if the service was free it doesn’t guarantee a user will be on the network simply because they may not be able to afford the equipment.
What this author doesn’t talk about are some of the other basics in this broadband world. If a state does opt out where do they get devices? As an opt out state and only Band 14 to operate on will they need a unique device? If so how much will that cost? Who will provide network operation services? How will the states fund the licensing agreement and core services? They don’t seem to want to address those issues.
Yes, we could go on and on, but the fact is this document is intended to lead a reader into a forgone conclusion that is not valid or substantiated. Anyone who suggests you evaluate something and gives you only their view has an agenda. Reader beware, most often, these types of documents are not in your best interest.