Motorola Solutions expects to see a healthy land-mobile-radio (LMR) market for the company throughout 2017, but delays in key public-safety LTE initiatives likely will prevent the company from seeing revenue growth associated with that technological trend, Motorola Solutions Chairman and CEO Greg Brown said today.

Brown made the statements during the company’s year-end earnings call, during which Motorola Solutions officials highlighted growth in the company’s operating margin to 23.6%--a figure achieved through increased sales and lower operating costs. Motorola Solutions Chairman and CEO Greg Brown repeatedly referenced the company’s backlog of business, which has reached “record” levels.

“I think we have as good a view as we’ve ever had, quite frankly, from a visibility standpoint into the business, as we sit here today,” Brown said during the earnings call, which was webcast.

Motorola Solution is “well positioned” to transition its business from “critical communications to critical intelligence,” but the company continues to see steady revenue from its traditional LMR business and support services.

 “I think there are a number of things that are driving demand for our business,” Brown said. “Some of it is the age of the technology and we refresh it, but a lot of it is upgrading it in current releases, it’s the need for newer digital, spectrally efficient radios with more feature functionality.

“Public safety has always remained high in the value chain of mission-critical communications, particularly in developed countries—certainly in North America, that continues to be a strong component of overall demand. Things like border security, immigration, and global terrorism … all lend itself to the need for mission-critical, encrypted, secure, end-to-end, reliable, redundant, always-on communications. It’s very different from a smartphone. It’s very different from a cellular network.

“In these times, I think there are a variety of things that remind people and reinforce the need to invest in land mobile radio. I think each time we put in a system, … we see customers still buying 10- and 15-year maintenance contracts on these systems and platforms that are going in.”

Previously, Motorola Solutions expected to realize about $25 million in new 2017 public-safety LTE revenue from the deployment of the Emergency Services Network (ESN) in the United Kingdom, Brown said. However, the ESN project deployment has been delayed until mid-2018, resulting in the revenue also being delayed, he said.