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Motorola Buys Comms Tech For Emergency Services Network

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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The company plans to offer the MACS unified communications platform as a cloud-based ESN deployment option

Motorola has acquired specialised unified communications technologies from Cyfas Systems and plans to offer them to control rooms in the UK as part of the upcoming Emergency Services Network (ESN).

The company said it purchased Cyfas’ Mobile Assets Communications System (MACS) along with the system’s associated integrated communications control system (ICCS) products.

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Cloud service

MACS is a specialised offering for control rooms involved in tasks such as dispatching and emergency response, and Motorola said it plans to offer the technology as a remotely managed service.

The platform integrates technologies such as the 4G data networks planned as the basis for the ESN as well as legacy TETRA networks, meaning organisations could use it in the transition to ESN, Motorola said.

The fact that the system is hosted remotely could make it easier for control rooms to migrate to the new platform and to handle further upgrades, according to the company.

“In addition to removing the need to manage and maintain on-site IT infrastructure, the cloud architecture improves agility, making it the perfect technology to transform control room operations,” stated Tom Guthrie, vice president of Motorola’s public safety division.

Airwave phase-out

The ESN is the proposed successor to the existing nationwide network, called Airwave, which uses a network fully dedicated to public-sector use, and is intended to reuse commercial 4G bandwidth provided by EE.

The contract with Airwave – which was acquired by Motorola last year – concludes at the end of 2019, and the government has proposed beginning the ESN implementation next year.

Much of the ESN’s technology remains to be developed, however, and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has said the government’s timetable is “potentially unrealistic”.

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