JVCKENWOOD today announced that it has invested in ultra-rugged LTE handset manufacturer Sonim Technologies in a deal that represents collaboration  between “the best of broadband technologies and the best of LMR technologies,” according to Sonim Technologies CEO Bob Plaschke.

Under the terms of the deal, JVCKENWOOD paid $10 million for a “less than 10%” equity stake in Sonim Technologies, as well as a seat on Sonim’s board of directors, Plaschke said. In addition, JVCKENWOOD's dealer network will have the option to sell Sonim Technologies’ devices, he said.

“We get the capital—which is great—and we hopefully get access to their channels and access to their customers,” Plaschke said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “And, most importantly for me, we get access to [JVCKENWOOD’s] years and years of experience, in terms of how to serve public safety.

“This is a unique and resounding confirmation of what we’re trying to do in the industry, if we have one of the largest LMR providers in the industry investing with us and deploying our products.”

Although announced today, talks between Sonim Technologies and JVCKENWOOD began last summer, Plaschke said. An agreement was reached in December, he said.

Japan-based JVCKENWOOD expressed the belief that investing in Sonim Technologies will “accelerate” development of products and services associated with LMR-to-LTE interoperability in the enterprise and public-safety sectors “while providing a reliable broadband LTE platform for customer data applications,” according to a JVCKENWOOD press release issued today.

“Our investment in Sonim is one of the many steps on our path to bring the best broadband-based capabilities to our customers around the world,” Kaz Aigami, Public Service Sector COO of JVCKENWOOD, said in a prepared statement. “Sonim is the acknowledged leader in ultra-rugged LTE B14 handsets for the enterprise and public-safety spaces, and we’re excited to partner with them.”