Motorola Solutions has inked a deal to buy Airwave—the provider of the public-safety TETRA network in Great Britain—for about £700 million cash, or $1.05 billion, as part of the company’s effort to expand its global managed and support services business, according to a Motorola Solutions official.

Motorola Solutions supplied the equipment and infrastructure to Airwave to deploy the massive TETRA network, which provides coverage to 99% of Great Britain’s land mass and secure communications support to more than 300,000 emergency first responders. By purchasing Airwave, Motorola Solutions also will assume responsibility for the TETRA network’s operation and maintenance, according to Kelly Mark, Motorola Solutions’ corporate vice president of managed and support services.

“We assume their operations,” Mark said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “Airwave initially will be relatively independent, and we’ll look to integrate over time, as appropriate. We basically pick up their operations, their people and everything that they’re doing for that particular network.”

Motorola Solutions signed the agreement for Airwave on Thursday night, and the deal is expected to close during the first quarter of 2016, Mark said.

United Kingdom (UK) officials have expressed concerns with the cost of the Airwave network in recent years, and efforts to migrate these communications to a public-safety LTE network, which is known as the emergency services network (ESN). Mark said that Motorola Solutions was the only vendor to submit a bid to integrate emergency-services capabilities for the proposed ESN, known as “Lot 2.”

By providing integration and networking support services for both the legacy TETRA network and likely the new LTE system—the LTE contract has not been finalized yet—Motorola Solutions is positioned to ensure a smooth transition whenever British officials want to migrate to LTE, Mark said.

“We’re an 85-year-old company,” he said. “You aren’t an 85-year-old company, if you don’t live through evolutions. What we’re going to look to do is take what we have with Airwave and evolve that—and help bridge that—into what the UK government wants to do with ESN.”

“We view Airwave as symbiotic and synergistic to what the UK government is doing with ESN and gives us a platform to make sure we’re successful in delivering what they need for ESN.”