Judge dismisses 9/11 suit against NYC/Motorola

A U.S. district court judge dismissed the $5 billion lawsuit against New York City and Motorola filed by the families of 12 firefighters killed when the World Trade Center collapsed in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack. The suit had alleged the firefighters died because the radios they had been issued didn't work properly in the high-rise complex, and that both the city and Motorola knew of the problem and failed to take appropriate actions. Judge Alvin Hellerstein ruled that because the families had filed claims with the Victim Compensation Fund, they were ineligible to claim damages in a civil suit.

Michigan county to upgrade communications system

Monroe County, Mich., has moved a step closer to significantly improving public safety for county residents by signing a contract to join the Michigan Public Safety Communications System (MPSCS), the statewide digital two-way radio system operated by the Michigan State Police. Monroe County law enforcement and other emergency response personnel will purchase more than 1,000 Motorola mobile and portable two-way radios for use on the MPSCS. Three towers will be constructed in the county to ensure public-safety coverage for all residents. The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is providing $6 million for the upgrade, according to a press release issued by the county.

EFJohnson lands first P25 trunking solution sale

EFJ, Inc., announced that its EFJohnson subsidiary has won a contract to upgrade a government customer from its conventional Netelligent Infrastructure System to a Project 25-compatible trunking system. The transaction marks the first sale of the Project 25-trunking system. The sale includes the Netelligent Infrastructure System as well as the company's portable and mobile radios.

In other news, EFJ subsidiary Transcrypt International announced it has received a $1.4 million contract from the New Iraqi Army to provide encryption boards that will support two-way land mobile radio communications.

Report: AT&T Wireless to delay CDPD shutdown

AT&T Wireless will delay the shutdown of its Cellular Digital Packet Data (CDPD) network until at least September 30 of this year, according to a report issued by UBS Financial Research. It had been expected that AT&T Wireless would shut down the network on June 30. UBS said it believes AT&T Wireless could push back the deadline even further because the carrier will be focused on its merger with Cingular Wireless.

PacketHop field tests multi-agency network

Belmont, Calif.-based PacketHop recently tested for the first time its mobile mesh solution in Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco. The test was conducted in concert with the Golden Gate Safety Network (GGSN). The solution enabled mobile broadband connectivity across tough terrain, on water and on structures including the Golden Gate Bridge, as well as interoperable communications.

Ten public-safety organizations participated in the test including the San Francisco Police Department, the California Highway Patrol, the U.S. National Park Service, the Marin County Sheriff's Department and the San Francisco Fire Department.

Jordanian company to build iDEN network

Amman, Jordan-based New Generation Telecommunications will build a $49 million nationwide radio dispatch and cellular telecommunications network utilizing Motorola's iDEN (Integrated Digital Enhanced Network) technology. The network, expected to be operational no later than early 2005, is New Generation's first Middle Eastern network build outside of Israel.

Cincinnati airport upgrades wireless system

Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport has deployed a wireless notification system jointly developed by Emergin and Nextel Communications to improve its emergency preparedness.

The system operates on any Nextel digital handset and incorporates two-way text messaging and mobile e-mail with Nextel's Direct Connect walkie-talkie service. Airport officials believe the system will improve response times and enable dispatchers to communicate immediately with personnel in crises, such as aircraft emergencies.

P2T-over-cellular interop tests scheduled

Motorola, Siemens and Sony Ericsson announced the first joint interoperability tests of push-to-talk-over-cellular (POC) technology.

The companies hope the tests speed the delivery of compatible POC products to network providers. They are targeting second quarter of this year for the delivery of the first such products. Interoperability is seen as the key to expanding POC to Europe and Asia, Motorola said.

The first POC technical standard was submitted to the Open Mobile Alliance in August 2003, and Motorola, Siemens and Sony Ericsson are promoting a final version of the standard through the OMA, Motorola said.