Moto Seeks $50M for LTE Safety Network

Motorola Computer Group and friends want $50.6 million in broadband stimulus funding to build a Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network that would expand broadband services for emergency responders, but also offer faster connections for residential and business users.

The Motorola bid is one of the key wireless applications in the second round of applications for funding from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The NTIA said Wednesday that it has received almost $11 billion in applications for its $2.6 billion pot of money for broadband projects. (See Recovery Act: $11B Pours In for NTIA's Round 2.)

Motorola describes its application as such:

The project is a public-private partnership between Motorola, public safety agencies, and broadband providers in the San Francisco Bay area. The project will deploy a comprehensive Middle Mile network that will expand broadband service for emergency responders utilizing LTE technology and offer wireless broadband service to community anchor institutions and residential and business end users.

The other ambitious LTE-related project listed in the NTIA database is a $150 million application from Incnetworks Inc. to deploy an LTE network in schools, hospitals, and public housing in Brooklyn, N.Y.

There are eight applications that specifically reference "WiMax" as an enabling technology. These include a bid for nearly $25 million from the city of Houston to expand its fiber optic, WiMax, and 700MHZ public safety networks as a foundation for "economic growth" in its greater metro area.

As expected, Towerstream Corp. (Nasdaq: TWER) is asking for nearly $20 million in two bids for this round of funding. The business-focused WiMax provider wants to build out networks in under-served areas of Boston and Detroit.

Just like the first round of applications, none of the big four cellular carriers appear to have applied for funding. This time, however, there's also no sign of applications from operators like Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) and DigitalBridge Communications Corp. , either. (See Recovery Act: WiMax Hunts for Broadband Bucks.)

The NTIA hopes to make some initial round two grant awards this summer.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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