State of Iowa RFP 0713005078 seeks proposals for a statewide, state-owned 700/800MHz APCO Project 25 Phase 2 compliant system, currently titled the “Iowa Statewide Interoperable Communication System.” The proposed system would be utilized by Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS), including the Iowa State Patrol (ISP), Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations, and Iowa State Fire Marshal Division, the Iowa Department of Corrections (DOC), the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT).

Click here to read the request for proposals in its 89-page entirety.

This is the first of two proposals that will be pertaining to a statewide system. The second proposal will request bids for a leased system, such as RACOM.

“The two RFPs will be reviewed, evaluated and scored separately and the highest scoring proposals for each RFP will be presented to the Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety for consideration. The Commissioner will determine which of the two solutions presents the best, overall, long-term value to the State and will make an award based on that determination, subject to available funding,” the RFP states.

The system “must support mission critical communications within the State and with neighboring states (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota). The System must be 700/800MHz APCO Project 25 Phase 2 compliant, highly reliable, fault tolerant, spectrally efficient, and easily scalable in order to meet the operational requirements for public safety first responders.” The RFP also specifies the new system should use as much of the existing radio tower infrastructure as possible (chiefly, ISP and DOT towers).

The state seeks these features and capabilities outlined on page 27: High LMR system availability with an overall system availability objective of greater than 99.99%, fully redundant alternate system core through geographic diversity, encrypted voice communications, over-the-air programming (OTAP), real-time system monitoring and logging, backup and restore capabilities for database and site configuration files, call alert/paging function, private call, emergency alarm/alert function.

The RFP does not specify how much of the voice traffic will be encrypted, but it does state on page 33 “the traffic element shall convey P25 voice and/or data traffic in both encrypted and clear formats.” The decision will ultimately be up to the state as the system is mapped out after bids are awarded. The RFP also specifies that DES/AES encryption should be enabled or disabled at the dispatch console.

The expected lifespan of the new system is “at least 15 to 20 years.”

Deltek, specialists in professional services firms, government contractors, and government agencies, states “the average full radio system contract amounts to $64.24 per citizen. Given the size of the state of Iowa, estimates put this project at roughly $193 million.”

Proposals are due to the state by February 27 at 3 p.m.