ComEd — the largest electric utility in Illinois, serving the Chicago and Northern Illinois areas — recently signed a $22 million contract with Motorola Solutions for the company's a 900 MHz ASTRO 25 digital trunked radio system. The deal marks the first public-utility sale for the product line — which the company hopes will appeal to U.S. utilities with aging 900 MHz analog equipment.

ComEd field workers will deploy with nearly 1,500 portable and mobile 900 MHz ASTRO 25 radios, and the utility's communications center will add 50 MCC 7500 IP dispatch consoles. Motorola further will improve ComEd's existing 900 MHz network coverage by adding 25 new transmitter sites to its 11,400-square-mile footprint.

"The Motorola 900 MHz ASTRO 25 digital trunked radio system leverages all of the advances we've made in public-safety digital radio, including Project 25 compliancy," said Geoff Grosshauser, Motorola Solutions' area sales manager. "This system reflects a refresh of our 900 MHz product line; one that will help public utilities bring their communications into the 21st century."

The system also will support over-the-air software upgrades. The 900 MHz ASTRO 25 system draws upon Motorola's XTL/XTS radios and GTR 8000 base station.

"ComEd is pleased that we can deploy the latest ASTRO 25 technology, while leveraging our current system," James M. Conway, ComEd's vice president of distribution system operations, said in a news release. "In the event of a major power outage, the new Motorola Solutions system will help provide our field operators with timely and accurate information, while keeping them connected to restore power to our customers safely, quickly and efficiently."