Big Bucks for 700 MHz Public Safety

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Motorola expects a sales boost from U.S. cities eyeing high-speed wireless upgrades to public safety systems, says Co-Chief Executive Greg Brown.

Motorola biggest division, with $1.7 billion in first-quarter revenue, is its enterprise and government business, compared to $1.6 billion in sales in their phone unit.

The importance of security technology resurfaced in recent weeks after a bomb scare in Times Square, New York. Brown aims to grow the business further by forging contracts with big cities.

“We are in discussions now with a variety of customers around the delivery of these systems,” Brown told Reuters. “I think it would be reasonable to expect some announcements between now and the end of the year,” he said.

Motorola sells its services to public safety organizations building networks based on LTE, also being adopted by the top two commercial US operators Verizon Wireless and AT&T. Applications could include video streaming to police cars so that they can monitor security situations on the road, Brown said.

Brown conceded that spectrum availability could slow development in some cities for a few years but said that commitments from the FCC to expand spectrum availability should help speed up the process.

The FCC’s Broadband plan for public safety calls on the U.S. Congress to provide between $12 billion and $16 billion over the next decade for public safety communications. Approximately $6.5 billion would go toward deploying a 700 MHz wireless network with the remainder provided for ongoing operating and maintenance expenses.

The FCC recommended that Congress consider creating an ongoing funding source during the next 18 months in the form of a fee that could be charged to all broadband users in the United States. A key component would be the “D Block” which would be auctioned off to commercial cellular providers.

That spectrum would be shared between the public and first responders.

The State of Oregon has received permission to build a statewide broadband wireless public safety network. Oregon is one of 21 entities in the country granted permission to proceed by the FCC.

“Not only does this mean our first responders and other public safety personnel can look forward to access to high-speed data as they perform their mission, it also positions Oregon out front in taking this critical first step toward the deployment of a nationwide interoperable network,” said Chief Jeffrey Johnson of Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, the Chair of the Statewide Interoperability Executive Council.

See Dailywireless: FCC Okays 21 Public Service Nets.

Posted by Sam Churchill on Monday, May 17th, 2010 at 11:13 am .

Leave a Reply