EFJohnson to provide P25 radios to Alaska

EFJohnson will provide Project 25-compliant radios to an Alaskan government entity known as the Fairbanks North Star Borough. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the company's parent, EFJ Inc., said total business this year from federal, state and local entities in Alaska exceeds $3.6 million.

In other news, EFJ subsidiary Transcrypt International has received an order worth $1.1 million to provide its voice privacy products to an undisclosed U.S.-based entity to help secure voice communications over the customer's two-way radio system.

FCC grants MeshNetworks experimental license

MeshNetworks announced that it has received from the FCC a license to deploy several experimental mobile mesh networks. Under the experimental license, MeshNetworks will be able to conduct nationwide trials of networks in the 2.5 GHz and 4.9 GHz bands. The FCC set aside the latter band specifically for public-safety use.

The license allows MeshNetworks to deploy a total of 1000 nodes, with a maximum of 200 nodes per demonstration network, the company said. Each node is licensed to operate with a maximum effective radiated power of up to 16 watts. Previously, the FCC had granted the company experimental licenses for the 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz bands.

Sinclair to assemble trunked systems for Motorola

Sinclair Technologies has been awarded a contract from Motorola to assemble and test Motorola trunked radio systems for Canadian customers. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. According to Sinclair, this is the first deal of its kind for Motorola in Canada.

Customers will need to purchase their trunked systems through authorized two-way radio dealers. Motorola will provide Sinclair with radios and control equipment; Sinclair will then add the required filters, then assemble, test and ship a completed system, in accordance with Motorola specifications.

Motorola to deploy TETRA network in China

Motorola will install a TETRA (terrestrial trunked radio) system for China railway operator Tianjin Metro. The solution consists of nine base stations and 230 subscribers; Motorola also will provide system integration and maintenance services. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Tianjin Metro represents the sixth TETRA deployment in China's transportation market; other systems include Beijing Light Rail, Guangshou Metro, Tianjin Light Rail, Xinchang Railway and Jiuguang Railway.

M/A-COM lands $8.4 million contract from Maryland

M/A-COM has been awarded an $8.4 million contract from Cecil County, Md., to deploy an interoperable communications system that will be used by the county's public-safety agencies, as well as a complementary paging system.

At the core of the new system will be a VHF ProVoice network that will provide both digital and analog coverage and which will replace a conventional low-band system that didn't provide interoperable communications. The system provides a migration path to M/A-COM's VIDA (voice, data, interoperability and access) network solution, the company said. Users of the new system also will be able to send voice communications through the Maryland Eastern Shore Interoperability Network currently being installed by M/A-COM.

T-Mobile trials mobile broadband data system

Flarion Technologies announced that T-Mobile International, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG, is conducting a trial of Flarion's Flash-OFDM mobile broadband data system in The Hague, the Netherlands.

T-Mobile has been testing the system in both Europe and the U.S. since 2003 and will now collect data on usage and customer behavior, according to Flarion. The system typically provides downlink speeds of 1.2 Mb/s with bursts to 3.2 Mb/s, and uplink speeds of 300-500 kb/s, with bursts to 900 kb/s. Because Flash-OFDM is an IP-based radio technology with sub 50ms latency, existing enterprise applications will be fully transparent, the company said.

Florida statewide communications system stands up to hurricanes

Florida's Statewide Law Enforcement Radio System (SLERS) weathered two major hurricanes, operating successfully during Hurricanes Charley and Frances, according to M/A-COM, which supplied the network. The company said SLERS operated continuously throughout the storms, while local systems and cellular networks failed. The statewide 800 MHz system, the result of collaboration between 14 state agencies, is scheduled to be completed in 2005 and is expected to save the state of Florida about $622 million over 20 years.

NYC schools to get 1200 Nextel P2T phones

Nextel Communications will donate 1200 push-to-talk wireless phones provided to the 2004 Republican National Convention for use by the New York City Public Schools. The phones have a value exceeding $250,000 and represent Nextel's single largest phone donation, the carrier said. A similar donation was made to the City of Boston in the aftermath of the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

Nextel also provided 40,000 first responders in the state of Florida with Priority Connect on their Direct Connect P2T service in the aftermath of Hurricane Charley. The carrier also accelerated the implementation of Wireless Priority Service in Florida, donated handsets and activations to more than 1900 first responders using that service, and deployed four mobile satellite cell sites.

In other hurricane-related news, T-Mobile offered free Wi-Fi hotspot service at many of its 300 locations in the state of Florida, in anticipation of Hurricane Frances, which forced 2.5 million residents to evacuate their homes and businesses. The free Wi-Fi service was available to those displaced by the storm at Borders Books and Music, FedEx Kinko's and Starbucks Coffee locations that hadn't closed.

APCO invited to participate in UN security seminar

The Association of Public-Safety Communications participated in a security seminar to be conducted by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research in Barcelona last month. The seminar sought to create an agenda for developing a new security-themed international training program. Other public-safety organizations invited to participate included the British Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials and APCO Canada.

Foundation awards $2.5 million in wireless E911 grants

The Public Safety Foundation of America last month awarded $2.5 million in grants to 37 entities to expedite the implementation of wireless enhanced 911 services throughout the U.S. The grants include $331,335 to the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety/New Jersey State Police; $169,574 to the Oconee County (S.C.) Sheriff's Office; $165,576 to the state of New Hampshire Department of Safety; and $163,718 to the Baltimore City Police Department.

The grants are administered by an advisory committee consisting of the following: Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials, International Association of Fire Chiefs, International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Association of Counties, National Association of State EMS Directors, National Emergency Number Association, National Governors' Association and National League of Cities.

Motorola to distribute Aeroflex test solutions

Aeroflex announced that Motorola has agreed to market and distribute the company's wireless test solutions, including radio test systems, spectrum analyzers, power meters, signal generators and microwave test equipment. As part of the agreement, Motorola also will distribute Aeroflex's IFR 2975 P25 radio tester that supports Motorola's SmartNet and SmartZone solutions, as well as the P25 Astro digital portable radios, according to Aeroflex.