This large western US state had a longtime relationship with a microwave radio vendor and would have continued buying from them if their radios and support evolved with the State’s needs. However, over time its needs changed and it had to have more capabilities from its communications network. But it did not want to unnecessarily build new sites and erect costly new towers.Read More
The public safety market has relied for many years on Aviat Networks to be a supplier of mission-critical microwave backhaul equipment. For example, since the introduction of the Eclipse microwave radio a few years ago, it has been received very successfully in the Australia public safety market. In the last five years, Aviat has sold and deployed thousands of radios (i.e., TRs) in the public safety and life critical radio ecosystem.
“The cutting-edge Gigabit Ethernet and IP capabilities of Eclipse were critical for Australia government agencies,” says Raj Kumar, vice president, sales and services, Asia Pacific, Aviat Networks. “As radio sites rolled out across Australia, Eclipse has enabled efficient deployment of multiple radio carriers in a single chassis—a mission-critical advantage for the simulcast trunking sites.”Read More
U.S. based state and local government backhaul buyers face a dilemma. Their microwave networks require continuous upgrades—now with the expectation that they become broadband capable—but their funding apparatus remains stagnant or even atrophies under fiscal pressures from citizens and policymakers. How can they obtain the next generation of wireless backhaul equipment vital to public safety and other purposes while doing so on a reality-based budget? The answer lies partly in an ongoing program that Aviat Networks can offer its government customers.
Aviat Networks participates in a master contract with NASPO ValuePoint, the nationwide purchasing arm of the National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO). That’s important because it allows state government agencies to buy backhaul equipment without RFPs at competitive prices. Not only does NASPO ValuePoint enable government agencies in all 50 states to procure prequalified Aviat microwave radio equipment but also all other solutions and services that the company offers.
To help government backhaul equipment purchasers benefit from NASPO ValuePoint, we’ve compiled three key facts to keep in mind when using this model procurement contract:
NASPO ValuePoint is a cooperative purchasing program that leverages the buying power of all 50 states to obtain best-value pricing and superior contract terms. In addition to all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories are also eligible to use the contract. States and others just have to complete a Participating Addendum (PA) with NASPO ValuePoint and an approved vendor—in this case Aviat Networks, the only microwave specialist offering radios in this channel.
The new NASPO ValuePoint contract replaces the old Western States Contracting Alliance (WSCA) Public Safety Communications contract, which was in effect for more than 10 years. During that time, usage of the contract was tremendous. For example, in the reporting period from 2010 to 2014, participating vendors disclosed that sales to all customers on this contract totaled almost $387 million.
Founded in 1993, WSCA was initially only available to 15 states. However, it later grew in size then consolidated itself with the NASPO Cooperative in 2013 under the name NASPO ValuePoint.
NASPO ValuePoint provides state procurement agencies a vehicle to purchase equipment without having to go through the typical process of creating a request for proposals (RFPs), seeking out contractors to submit RFP responses, evaluating bids against qualification criteria, having final round participants possibly present personally and then issuing a formal contract. And it makes it unnecessary for states and their local agencies to have to do it over again for each new proposal: bidding for individual projects or creating one-off contracts. In addition, leveraging the NASPO ValuePoint nationwide contract helps state procurement agencies:
Overall, NASPO ValuePoint enables public safety and other government entities to procure communications equipment at a fraction of the time and reduced administrative costs compared to standard RFP processes. The contract assures public safety agencies that the equipment they purchase represents the best technology at the best prices and decreases cycle time to pick and place orders. Then projects can progress more rapidly.
Also, this process ensures that public safety entities use products common to other agencies not only inside their state but also within other states so that performance, quality and reliability can be assessed and verified through parallel system deployments.
For more information on engaging Aviat Networks on a state government based microwave network project through NASPO ValuePoint, provide some basic contact information, and someone from our North America marketing team will get in contact with you shortly.
Director, North America Solutions Marketing
Whether the local police department responding to a burglary call or firefighters putting out a blaze in the historic district, first responders across America rely on mission-critical communications infrastructure to provide timely, reliable and secure voice, video and data services to do the job.
In our data-infused, mobile and Internet-connected world, public safety agencies have come to realize that upgrading infrastructure to IP/MPLS technology is the best way to lower costs and provide rich services in a scalable way, while enabling effective communication with peer local, state and federal organizations. Access to high volumes of data and the ability to share it with key stakeholders allows public safety professionals to make rapid decisions and speed up actions.
IP/MPLS and Microwave: Better Together
At Aviat Networks, we have blazed a path to IP in privately operated networks with our hybrid IP/TDM microwave radios, which efficiently converge packet-based traffic with legacy TDM. This solution gives public safety network operators a concurrence of technology while migration decisions and investments are made.
Recently, Aviat introduced the term “microwave routing” with the launch of its CTR platform. At its core, microwave routing is about integrating IP/MPLS capability into the microwave layer to increase transport intelligence while decreasing cost and complexity. As part of its portfolio, Aviat features the highly resilient CTR 8611 microwave router, which has been designed to meet the needs of public safety agencies today and tomorrow—addressing a future that is sure to include LTE/LTE-Advanced technology and a vast new buildout of advanced networking infrastructure ushered in by the FirstNet initiative.
IP/MPLS in Action
One example of IP/MPLS in public safety networks can be found in the Northeastern United States, where a major statewide public safety agency recently adopted IP/MPLS functionality in its backhaul. This deployment is based on the CTR 8611 and ProVision network management system (NMS). ProVision, with its new INM package, provides a smarter end-to-end, point-and-click IP/MPLS service management solution.
Armed with these tools, this public safety agency turned up a complete IP/MPLS solution for its mission-critical networks, which includes microwave radios, microwave routers and network management. Aviat supports the agency with turnkey services to simplify the network design, install and commission equipment and provide post-deployment support.
IP/MPLS for Everyone
Since 1999, IP/MPLS has been deployed in the mainstream of networking. Until now, its implementation has largely been the domain of wireline telephone companies and more recently mobile operators. However, we now see private network operators adopt IP/MPLS technology because of its superiority and economic benefits. Although IP/MPLS is not something that is perceptible by the ordinary citizen, its positive impact on our daily lives is significant. We Heart IP/MPLS!
North America Marketing
In the effort to build out the nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network, stakeholders are making themselves heard. They were heard at the Public Safety Broadband Stakeholder Conference held last week, June 4-6, 2013, outside of Denver, Colo., hosted by the Public Safety Communications Research lab. It brought to the surface the many competing agendas local public safety network operators, the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), wired and wireless vendors and even mobile app developers contend with.
Aviat Networks had a chance to sit down with Tammy Parker, editor of FierceBroadbandWireless, during the conference to discuss some of these issues, such as the debate on the effectiveness of fiber optic technology in backhauling public safety networks. The fact is that microwave indeed will be a key element in the design and implementation of the FirstNet mission-critical network. And fiber does not provide the reliability and survivability needed. In the commercial mobile telecom space, the poor survivability of fiber is tolerated, but when it comes down to crunch time when lives are on the line, public safety operators will take microwave over leased fiber.
Randy Jenkins, Aviat director of business development, expanded on this vital decision for public safety operators to make between microwave and fiber. “As a vendor vested in the public safety community for more than 50 years, Aviat understands its responsibility to find innovative ways of offering microwave solutions that can save CAPEX and OPEX in support of the biggest challenge FirstNet is addressing—not enough money. Aviat is bringing backhaul innovation to this program.”
The bottom line is that backhaul is always the bottleneck in any network planning. In that case, it’s important for public safety operators to address that aspect first, according to Tony Ljubicich, Aviat’s vice president of sales and services.
If you would like to hear more about how Aviat Networks is making microwave backhaul the best choice for FirstNet-ready public safety, leave your contact information and reference the upcoming webinar on public safety broadband backhaul for a major statewide network. We’ll let you know when it’s scheduled.