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Solicitation Of Interest Participation In The Implementation Of A Neutral Host System To Provide Wireless Coverage In PATCO PA And NJ Tunnels

Six (6) Copies Of The Letter Of Interest Must Be Received By The DRPA No Later Than 2:00 P.M. On Friday, September 18, 2009.

The Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) hereby invites FCC licensed wireless carriers to submit a Letter of Interest pertaining to their participation in the implementation of a Neutral Host System to provide wireless radio system coverage in PATCO PA and NJ tunnels. FCC licensed wireless operators wishing to submit a Letter of Interest demonstrating their intention to participate must indicate their willingness to provide an up-front $2 million capital contribution to pay for the expansion to a Neutral Host System of the currently planned system which is intended to serve the DRPA 800 MHz public safety radio system.

Background

The DRPA has recently completed a process including the selection of a Design/Builder to design and construct a communications system that will enable DRPA and PATCO police and maintenance personnel to communicate from any location within the PA and NJ PATCO tunnels using the existing DRPA 800 MHz radio system.  (Communication in the tunnels is currently via a 500 MHz system that will remain in service.)  As an option to the initially designed system, DRPA is pursuing the opportunity to expand the design of this planned system to include coverage for multiple FCC licensed Commercial Mobile Radios Service (CMRS) bands.  The cost of the proposed expansion is approximately $2 million over an above the cost of the initial system.

The design of the currently planned system includes coverage in approximately 14,700 feet of tunnel with approximately 9,000 feet in Philadelphia, PA and 5,700 feet in two sections of tunnel in Camden, NJ.  The tunnel portion of this PATCO commuter line serves 4 active and 1 inactive stations in Philadelphia and 2 active stations in Camden.  This PATCO line intersects with NJ Transit’s River Line in Camden, NJ and SEPTA’s Market-Frankfort (Blue) and Broad Street (Orange) lines in Philadelphia.  Further, the PATCO pedestrian concourse between the last two stations in Philadelphia connects to the SEPTA Orange Line pedestrian concourse and will also have coverage as part of the proposed system.  PATCO currently provides approximately 34,000 passenger trips per weekday between Lindenwold, New Jersey and Center City, Philadelphia.

Neutral Host System

The Neutral Host system design expands upon the DRPA public safety system design and consists of two (2) environmentally controlled head-end locations where CMRS base transceiver equipment will gain access to the network.  Fiber optic terminals in these two head-end locations will convert radio signals to light which will be transmitted through a series of fiber-optic cables that will be installed within the tunnels by DRPA’s contracted Design/Builder. In addition to the fiber-optic cables, a series of broadband radiating coaxial cables will be installed in the tunnels and at the stations which will be used to distribute the radio coverage throughout the tunnels and station platforms and certain pedestrian concourses.  The radiating coaxial cable system will be fed by a series of 13 multi-band Remote Fiber Nodes (RFNs) installed at selected stations in order to meet the 95% required level of service of the DRPA 800 MHz radio system as well as similar levels of coverage for CMRS operators.

Opportunity to Participate

DRPA, through its Design/Builder will be responsible for the design, implementation, acceptance and operation of this Neutral Host system.  DRPA has budgeted and will contribute the required capital to build the public safety portion of the proposed Neutral Host system.  The DRPA is interested in negotiating a contract with a wireless CMRS operator to contribute the additional capital needed to expand this system and make it available to other operators in the 700, 800, 1900, and 2100 MHz CMRS bands.  In exchange for the $2 million up-front capital contribution from the contracted wireless carrier, the DRPA will offer rent abatement for an extended term.

Six (6) copies of the Letter of Interest must be received by the DRPA no later than 2:00 p.m. on Friday, September 18, 2009. The Letters of Interest should be addressed to Mr. William C. Brooks, P.E., Director of Engineering/Chief Engineer, Delaware River Port Authority, One Port Center, 2 Riverside Dr., Camden, NJ 08101-1949. The Letter of Interest shall describe in three (3) pages or less the carrier’s FCC license qualifications and the proposed $2 million capital contribution and requested rent abatement term. The mailing envelope containing the Letter of Interest shall be labeled “LETTER OF INTEREST – PARTICIPATION IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A NEUTRAL HOST SYSTEM TO PROVIDE RADIO SYSTEM COVERAGE IN PATCO PA AND NJ TUNNELS”.  If more than one wireless carrier responds to this solicitation, a subsequent Request for Proposal will be issued to award a contract.  If only one wireless carrier responds to this solicitation, the DRPA will proceed into direct negotiations with that carrier to secure a contract for this project.

This public advertisement constitutes the Delaware River Port Authority’s formal solicitation to determine the interest of FCC licensed CMRS wireless operators in the afore-stated project.


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