"This RFP process is just the first of a long line of partnerships and RFPs that are ultimately going to come out once the prime contractor is awarded," said Kyle Quillen, founder and CTO of Agile Networks, a telecom backhaul provider in Ohio.
"I think what you're going to see [is that]as the prime awardee starts to talk to states about their plans, there are going to be more and more rural areas where you're going to see the majority of partnering happening."
The prime awardee will likely be asking partners for "assets in places that there really isn't a good plan for coverage," Quillen
added, noting in rural areas it's likely FirstNet will "need to leverage infrastructure that would typically be overlooked by some of the commercial carriers in LTE deployments."
suggested vendors interested get in touch with their state's "single point of contact" officials, all of whom are listed on FirstNet's
Whether vendors decide to market themselves on a very targeted basis or try to blanket FirstNet
and its prime awardee with a more "shotgun" approach, Quillen
said, "there are only so many cycles that a given team has, to vet who can help them."