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Thread: Motorola Loses FL SLERS Contract

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    Default Motorola Loses FL SLERS Contract

    From the trade press. Interesting read; P25 dated tech, what is next generation comms, Greg Brown and more!

    Florida ends talks with Motorola Solutions on P25 contract, will seek ‘next-generation system’
    Last edited by triptolemus; Jan 11, 2020 at 01:51 AM. Reason: fixed link
    It's just a hobby to me.


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    This is wonderful news. There's three major points to consider here, which Motorola is going to have a hard time dealing with:

    - Explaining to their shareholders why they turned down $687,800,000.00 from Florida (That was Motorola's bid submission)

    - What they're going to do with all that aging P25 gear, sitting in a warehouse, waiting to be sold -- which could've went to Florida. Not sure about you guys, but I like to keep product moving when I have valuable trade-assets sitting around. Sitting around does nothing for them. It costs money to store; it's depreciating in value and it may end up being sold at pennies on the dollar if Motorola goes **** up and their assets get liquidated.

    - This part: "Motorola Solutions declined to sign a contract honoring its $687.8 million bid". They failed to honor their bid. That's huge (UUUUUUUGE as d119 would say). That means their reputation is worthless. They screwed Florida over. Florida had selected MSI as their vendor, and their whole project (i.e. valuable time) was put on hold during this wasteful period. MSI's integrity is now in question. Would you deal with a supplier who can't supply, nor honor their bid? Not me. However, it is worth noting Harris' bid was for $300,000,000 more. I guess Motorola is a little butt-hurt they were selected, given their lowball bid, when they could've raked in another $100-250M, and still been less expensive than Harris.

    Motorola, I wish you well, bottom feeders.

    --

    On a somewhat related note, I did some quick math here, just to point out how much of a scam P25 infrastructure is, in the sense its value is inflated to take advantage of the taxpayer. The Florida system was said to be 133 sites. Let's say DMR equipment was manufactured in 700 MHz, and a Tier III DMR network was an alternative. Here's some food for thought:

    - Let's go full retard, and make each site 24 timeslots (this is not a maximum number). 12 repeaters per site. Remember, DMR uses a timeslot for the CC. P25 uses Phase I (FDMA) for the CC.

    - Let's assume at a wholesale cost, SLR8000s were available for $5000/each.

    - 12 repeaters per site x $5000 = $60,000 per site. (not including duplexers, cabling, networking, labor, antennas, etc.).

    - 133 sites, 24 timeslots each, = $7,980,000.00

    Add subscribers. Let's say the state needs 20,000 subscribers. A mixture of XPR7550e and XPR5550e. Assume wholesale discount of $650/radio. That's $13,000,000.00.

    Add some extra batteries. Whole discount $60/batery x 12,000 subs (more portables on system than mobiles) = $720,000

    Add 2000 gang chargers. Wholesale price, let's say $200/each. $400,000.00.

    So far, we're at: $22,100,000.00. Subtracted from the $687,800,000.000 budget, leaves $665,700,000.00 left over. WUT?

    I'm assuming many of the existing tower sites will be re-used, so minimal construction would be involved. Even so, do a handful of towers and labor add up to $665,700,000.00? I don't think so.

    There's also the so-called "maintenance agreement". I purposely left that out, because we know how under-utilized firmware/software updates are in real practice. It's the most neglected component of any system. It's not like MSI is sending out field-techs to visit each customer and ensure their firmware is up-to-date. Even so, given how buggy their releases have been (especially in 2019), would you blindly update firmware/system platforms? Likely not.

    There are definitely other components of this system which I've left out, including the combiners/multi-couplers/TTAs, etc. But assuming we budget $1,000,000 per site for the extra hardware, ($133M), that still leaves $532.7M left over.

    I'm telling you guys, something is F'd with this whole taxpayer scamming scheme. Really effed.

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    Sounds to me like Florida is going to have to make a decision, and do it pretty soon. I wonder how long it would take to get a manufacturer to crank out a few 700 MHz demo DMR repeaters and portables? The EDACS system contract expires mid 2021 - so you've got 18 months to design, implement, build, and deliver. I would think that an investment of 1 or 2 million could get things rolling pretty quickly, and the potential payoff could more than justify it.

    I read it as a total of 144 sites, but there was mention that L3 Harris owned 21 of the existing sites themselves.

    Interesting that one of the major stumbling blocks was the ability of the State to terminate the contract for convenience, yet that clause was apparently in the original Bid.

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    The only reason P25 equipment is any more expensive than DMR is Motorola's patents.

    It's not like it's a vastly more complicated protocol suite or anything like that.

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    I read through the article, and I think there are some missing key details. Termination for Convenience clauses are quite common for large contracts. HOWEVER, what's not mentioned is discussion on penalties or costs associated with Termination for Convenience. (Not to be confused with Termination for Deficiency)

    Typical T for C clauses I've dealt with involve having a small pot of funds to cover shutting down operations. I.e., you can fire most people overnight, but still need some folks to close down operations. Said clauses will also give the contractor most of the fee (profit) they would have gained by simply fully executing the contract. This isn't completely unreasonable. Otherwise, there would not be much point in having a contract if there's no consequence to honoring it.

    My guess is that Florida wasn't willing to have a T for C clause that was favorable enough to Motorola. Without knowing the details of the clause, it's hard to judge who's being unreasonable.

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    In a Dec. 12 letter to Brown, Satter indicated that Motorola Solutions had not been willing to accept the terms of its bid in contract negotiations. One key condition that all vendors seeking the P25 contract were required to accept was a “termination for convenience” clause, which would let the state to back out of the potential 20-year deal whenever it wanted with little advance notice.
    Well, reading the article, I too would be wary of signing the contract. It seems like Florida is looking for a placeholder and when something better comes along, they will terminate the contract. No way Florida sticks with this for twenty years given all the new technology in the pipeline.

    There seems to be really no other option than to go back and negotiate something with Motorola.

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    Motorola tried to sue Florida for "breach of contract" over the original SLERS contract. After the first or second phases of the project were completed by Motorola,Florida decided to go with M/A-COM, who at the time, claimed they could get the same coverage using less RF sites and still complete the remaining phase(s) of the project for less money.

    It didn't "really" work out that way.

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    How does a radio system cost 2/3 of a billion $ and Harris bid must have been closer to 1B$... Something is just wrong with that. Christ I wonder what Manitoba is paying for their Moto P25 system considering we are about 10 time the land mass?

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    I just dug this up, how is it that the Manitoba P25 system is only $380 million Canadian?

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manit...lion-1.4777561

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    I am not personally familiar with Manitoba, but looking at the Wikipedia summary, I'd say that the terrain is different, the population distribution (and total numbers) is different, and I would be willing to guess that land acquisition costs are different. Florida has pretty much NO hills or mountains, and the population is pretty dense along both coasts, with a total population of 21 million+. Manitoba, while not mountainous, does have hills, and the majority of the 1.25 million population is concentrated in the southern 1/4 of the Province.

    Hartley

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hartley View Post
    I am not personally familiar with Manitoba, but looking at the Wikipedia summary, I'd say that the terrain is different, the population distribution (and total numbers) is different, and I would be willing to guess that land acquisition costs are different. Florida has pretty much NO hills or mountains, and the population is pretty dense along both coasts, with a total population of 21 million+. Manitoba, while not mountainous, does have hills, and the majority of the 1.25 million population is concentrated in the southern 1/4 of the Province.

    Hartley
    Ya I realize it is not an apples to apples comparison but the cost of the Florida system seems really high. In Manitoba the will use the old Fleetnet sites and add a few new ones for the dead spots they have now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hartley View Post
    I am not personally familiar with Manitoba, but looking at the Wikipedia summary, I'd say that the terrain is different, the population distribution (and total numbers) is different, and I would be willing to guess that land acquisition costs are different. Florida has pretty much NO hills or mountains, and the population is pretty dense along both coasts, with a total population of 21 million+. Manitoba, while not mountainous, does have hills, and the majority of the 1.25 million population is concentrated in the southern 1/4 of the Province.

    Hartley
    The new system will have 158 sites. It will cover an area larger than SLERS. The biggest difference will be channel count per site. The majority of site will likely be 4 RF channels.

    No different than AFRRCS in Alberta. 330+ Unique radio sites but the vast majority of them are 4 RF channels and the VHF sites along the west side of the province in the mountains, are single channel. Currently AFRRCS has cost, for infrastructure alone, somewhere between $350-500M.

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    It doesn't matter whats "in the pipeline" when discussing interoperablilty. There are simply no subscriber units capable of P25 (almost every single public safety system in Florida) and some "next generation" system to be determined. What's not mentioned in the article is the corruption in Florida. Moto lost the current system to MA/COM due to some rather shady dealings. Many of those people are still in Florida government. I'd be willing to bet my FRS that someone slipped in the clause as written as a poison pill to help their buddies at Harris.

    As far as going with DMR.. What radio does both DMR and P25 in the states?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FLAstro
    As far as going with DMR.. What radio does both DMR and P25 in the states?
    That would be the Kenwood NX5000 series.

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    Motorola declined to sign the final contract because it was designed from the get go as a screw job. There is a clause in it that allows the State to "terminate for convenience", which is a clause that NO responsible and intelligent person would allow to be in any contract that he would sign.


    Florida DMS included a “termination for convenience” language in its procurement documents, making acceptance of the language a condition of a qualified bid. Motorola Solutions representatives were reminded of the condition last year, when Administrative Law Judge Bruce Culpepper recommended dismissal of a procurement protest by Harris in favor of the Motorola Solutions bid.

    “This [termination-for-convenience] provision authorizes the Department [DMS] the right to terminate the SLERS contract for any reason, or no reason whatsoever,” according to Culpepper’s opinion. “One example of how the Department might cancel the contract ‘for convenience’ would be if the Legislature determined that the state no longer needed, or wanted, the SLERS. The Termination for Convenience clause would allow the Department to terminate its agreement without incurring any financial obligation.”


    That right there is what we call a TRAP. Clearly the Harris Machine managed to so completely corrupt the DMS that they built a bomb into the contract that would literally allow Florida to yank the contract out from under Motorola's feet after they've spent millions on sites and infrastructure, and then hand the keys to Harris.

    It's as bad a case of state level corporate contract CORRUPTION as I've ever seen.

    I'm glad Motorola avoided this trap. Not so glad that the state will be stuck with Harris.

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    I just have this nagging thing in my head that this has more to do with FirstNet than Harris (at least on the network end). Can you imagine how many LTE sites AT&T would put up/upgrade for that amount of money? I can hear it now from the ATT guys "P25 is SOO yesterday, how about a nextgen LTE system to lead the industry. we can allow you to roam all over the world and still talk securely, and no streaming! blah blah. "

    ok so then Harris comes in with the WiFi equipped radios (XL-200 anyone??) and away they go. We have a network here and there once was one of the radio shop folks in an airport on the wifi talking into his P25 network many states away like he was sitting in his office under the tower.

    This will be fun to watch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xpr8300 View Post
    I just have this nagging thing in my head that this has more to do with FirstNet than Harris (at least on the network end). Can you imagine how many LTE sites AT&T would put up/upgrade for that amount of money? I can hear it now from the ATT guys "P25 is SOO yesterday, how about a nextgen LTE system to lead the industry. we can allow you to roam all over the world and still talk securely, and no streaming! blah blah. "

    ok so then Harris comes in with the WiFi equipped radios (XL-200 anyone??) and away they go. We have a network here and there once was one of the radio shop folks in an airport on the wifi talking into his P25 network many states away like he was sitting in his office under the tower.

    This will be fun to watch.
    they had better not talk to the UK emergency services, as that's basically whats being done over here - LTE handsets, and 4G/5G coverage.

    Its already 2 years behind rollout, and its still nowhere near.

    They are having to patch up the legacy tetra system on a daily basis (its not the handsets or radio infrastructure that's the problem, its the fixed links all rely on POTS lines, and the telecoms provider is transitioning to fibre).