Tempe announces winner of citywide wireless broadband bid

Tempe, Arizona announced that it has awarded the bid to build out its citywide wireless broadband network (covering 40 square miles) to MobilePro. The award is subject to the execution of a final written contract between the city and MobilePro and will include the option for two five-year extensions.Tempe, Arizona announced that it has awarded the bid to build out its citywide wireless broadband network (covering 40 square miles) to MobilePro. The award is subject to the execution of a final written contract between the city and MobilePro and will include the option for two five-year extensions.

The city said its RFP was sent to 113 potential vendors, a number of which responded, including AOL. The city got four bids — click here to see who bid on the project. Although AOL submitted a bid, it was not signed and so did not meet the requirements of Tempe.

MobilePro’s response was ranked the highest by an evaluation panel that judged the MobilePro network’s technical capabilities and the services offered by the company and its service partners. This panel recommended to the city council that MobilePro be selected. The project will be managed by MobilePro’s wholly owned Neoreach Wireless Division.

The network will be used for public access, municipal employees and public safety (fire, police and emergency). According to the press releases, MobilePro will use the 2.4GHz (11b, 11g) and 5.xGHz (11a) bands, and, when available, the 4.9GHz (Muni) band and Wi-Max.

Other details about the network

Here is more information from the Tempe website:

* MobilePro is working with StrixSystems, Earthlink, Limelight Networks, and Cox Communications to build and support the wireless network.

* The wireless network will cover all of Tempe and offer services to residents and visitors on an annual, monthly, daily and hourly basis. The network will allow access to multiple Internet service providers (ISP), and is robust enough to provide telephone service via Voice-over-IP (VOIP).

* The network will be in an “always on” state. Any Wi-Fi enabled device can access the network “landing page” free of charge. Access to City of Tempe services (http://www.tempe.gov) and ASU services (http://www.asu.edu) will also be available from the landing page free of charge. This free access is being offered as part of the agreement with MobilePro and the City.

* There will be a zone in the merchant district of downtown Tempe that offers free Internet access on a limited basis. Tempe and ASU encourage shoppers and students to enjoy the downtown area and lakeside venues while surfing the net.

* The agreement between the City of Tempe and MobilePro calls for a tandem network running on a municipal frequency (4.9GHz) to be deployed on the same infrastructure as the Public network. This second, FCC licensed, network will be used by municipal workers to enhance their ability to provide services in the community. Police, Fire, Water, Traffic and Development Services personnel will utilize the network to leverage mobile technology that will make the City more efficient and safer for its residents. Every Police officer, patrol car and Fire truck on the street will be equipped with a laptop computer that is Wi-Fi enabled giving them the ability to access information that has never before been available in the field due to limited bandwidth.

* In return for MobilePro’s agreement to build and operate a Municipal network for the City’s use, Tempe agrees to grant limited use of the City street light infrastructure and existing fiber backhaul locations for Mobile Pro to deploy its network.

* The City of Tempe public wireless network will be a proof of concept and a showcase for MobilePro, StrixSystems and their partners. The Tempe model will provide a template and success recipe for other Cities looking to bring wireless into the community on a large scale. (My own comment: does this mean the partners are building the network using their own funds? See below.)

* The network is not subsidized by the City. Tempe is not installing or maintaining the network. There are no payments made to MobilePro for use of the network by municipal employees while on the job.

* The private municipal network negotiated in the lease agreement utilizes radio frequencies set aside by the Office of Homeland Security.

Wireless broadband in Chandler, Arizona as well

Earlier this month, MobilePro announced that its Neoreach Division had launched a pilot project to set up a wireless hot zone in Chandler, Ariz., a suburb of Phoenix.

The pilot will encompass the historic downtown area of Chandler, including indoor and outdoor coverage of the historic San Marcos Hotel. If fully deployed, the network would cover the entire city of Chandler and would be one of the largest carrier-owned-and-operated metro Wi-Fi projects in the United States. The project, known locally as WazChandler, is being conducted in partnership with the WazAlliance, Cox Cable and other major ISPs, who together will offer service provider “freedom of choice” to the City of Chandler as well as to the city’s businesses, residents and visitors.

********

See my earlier articles (including RFP materials) on Tempe here:
http://www.muniwireless.com/archives/000551.html
http://www.muniwireless.com/archives/000577.html

*******

View the Strix Systems Company Profile page here:
http://www.muniwireless.com/reports/strixsystems.html