Raytheon recently informed dealers that its JPS Communications business unit—best known for its portfolio of land-mobile-radio (LMR) interoperability products—has been closed, citing the fact that the JPS products “no longer align” with Raytheon’s business strategy.

Arthur Powers, Raytheon’s vice president of contracts and corporate development, informed all JPS Communications dealers of JPS Communications in a letter dated last Friday, Jan. 29.

“This letter serves to inform you that, as of this date, JPS Communications, Inc. is closing business operations,” the letter states. “This letter constitutes formal notice that your Dealer Agreement is being cancelled. We ask that you cease all sales activities of JPS Products.

“All JPS warranty obligations will be fulfilled, as well as any other service and maintenance obligations that have been contracted.”

Today, a Raytheon spokesperson provided the following prepared statement about the JPS closure in response to inquiries by IWCE’s Urgent Communications.

“Raytheon will cease operations of its JPS Subsidiary, effective Jan. 29,” according to the statement. “Raytheon consistently reviews its business portfolio to ensure we are providing and investing in the products and services needed by our customers and aligned with the company’s core areas of expertise. Since acquiring JPS, there have been market changes that no longer align with Raytheon’s core technology and business strategy.

“Employees of the business will be provided with severance packages according to standard company policy.”

During the late 1990s and early 2000s, JPS Communications’ ACU product family was among the most popular interoperability solutions of the era, purchased by many state and local first-responder agencies with federal grants made available before and after the events of 9/11. Raytheon purchased JPS Communications and continued to innovate its interoperability product.

Many in the LMR industry have expressed surprise by the closing of the JPS business unit, but longtime JPS customer Randy Kaminsky—the communications/911 supervisor for the village of Bradley, Ill.—said he understands the move. The migration to IP-based backhaul and digital-radio protocols such as P25— a standard designed to enable radio, console and system interoperability—have reduced the need for standalone interoperability solutions such as those in the ACU product portfolio, he said.

The fact that a lot of manufacturers are integrating their own signal-to-noise voting into their own equipment means the market has pretty much dried up,” Kaminsky said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “There’s still some market there, but does it justify their investment?”