Five teams vie for huge wireless contract

The Justice Department will choose from among five vendor teams to award the Integrated Wireless Network contract in a $10 billion competition launched yesterday with the release of a proposal request.

Justice's procurement services staff is acting on behalf of the IWN Program Office, which includes the Treasury and Homeland Security departments as principal participants.

Last month, the government picked teams led by AT&T Corp., Boeing Co., General Dynamics Corp., Lockheed Martin of Bethesda, Md., and Motorola Inc. The program office prepared for the December down-select by conducting months of information exchanges with prospective vendors, including release of draft specifications for the nationwide wireless system See GCN story.

The IWN proposal request calls for vendor teams to describe how they would frame the task of replacing the government's patchwork of law enforcement radio systems with a seamless voice and data network. When it is completed years from now, the IWN project will extend federal wireless system coverage across hundreds of miles of trackless border territory, as well as into the centers of cities and towns nationwide.

The three departments also want IWN to permit federal law enforcement officials to link wirelessly with their state and local counterparts.

Program officials are on track to issue a contract for the project this year.

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