Tokyo-based Kenwood Corp., the parent of Kenwood USA, announced that it would purchase Redmond, Wash.-based Zetron Inc. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Kenwood said in a press release that it is acquiring Zetron — which will operate as a Kenwood subsidiary, according to the release — in order to expand its business scope beyond supplying radios to providing turnkey system solutions. A Zetron representative declined to comment on the transaction until it closes. However, when asked whether Zetron would continue to operate independently and produce products under its own brand, the representative said, “As far as I know, that's definitely the case.”

The announcement comes on the heels of an agreement between Kenwood and EADS Secure Networks — announced during IWCE 2007 in March — that calls for the companies to collaborate on scalable, Project 25, or P25, turnkey systems for state and local public-safety agencies. Kenwood will provide P25 mobile and portable subscriber units, while EADS will provide IP-based, P25 digital trunked infrastructure.

The agreement is a major win for smaller public-safety agencies, according to Mark Jasin, senior vice president and general manager for Kenwood USA. “They haven't been able to buy an entry-level, P25 turnkey system — now they can,” Jasin said.

The seed for the agreement was planted in Cumberland County, Tenn., which will deploy EADS infrastructure and Kenwood subscriber units to deliver a new five-site, IP-based, P25 digital trunked system. The new system — which was announced in January — will replace the county's legacy analog system and will support the sheriff's department, as well as fire and rescue, emergency medical and emergency management agencies.

The agreement is non-exclusive, according to David Cerqua, general manager for EADS Secure Networks, who said he already is eyeing other potential collaborators, naming EFJohnson and Tait as companies he has on his radar screen. “We're actively talking to others,” he said.