Motorola Solutions reported record revenue, cash flow, operating earnings and backlog for 2017, driven largely by land-mobile-radio (LMR) sales in both the public-safety and commercial sectors, company officials said during a conference call reviewing fourth-quarter (Q4) and year-end financial results.

“Q4 was an outstanding quarter, capping a very strong year,” Motorola Solutions Chairman and CEO Greg Brown said during the call. “We grew Q4 revenue 4%, driving cash flow and earnings on the continued strength of our land-mobile radio solutions, led by North America. We see continued demand across both our government and commercial customers around the world, reflected in our recent results and our record backlog.”

While some industry analysts have noted an increased adopt of push-to-talk-over-cellular (PoC) services and a significant dropoff in LMR licensing activity, Motorola Solutions officials said LMR demand is strong and expressed optimism about the future of private radio systems.

“I’m especially pleased with our momentum moving forward,” Brown said. “Our record backlog reflects the continued strong demand for LMR—led by North America—and we’re making continued progress in growing our software and services business, as well.”

Motorola Solutions Executive Vice President and CFO Gino Bonanotte echoed this sentiment, noting that LMR business spurred 7% growth in the Americas during 2017.

“This broad-based growth was driven by P25 systems, multiyear managed and support services, and commercial product,” Bonanotte said. “Backlog is up $915 million from last year, with double-digit growth in both products and services, year over year.

“Customers continue to invest in their LMR solutions.”

Bonanotte cited numerous LMR contracts that Motorola Solutions won during the fourth quarter of 2017.

“We were awarded a $290 million contract for an LMR system in a Middle Eastern country that recently deployed a private, public-safety LTE system,” Bonanotte said. “This significant investment in LMR is the latest example of customers further validating that LTE and LMR are complementary technologies.

“We also won several large LMR deals during the quarter, including a $76 million P25 order for the city of Dallas, a $53 million P25 order for the city of Los Angeles, and a $39 million P25 order for the city of Toronto.”

In addition to these product-segment wins, Motorola Solutions also secured managed-services contracts or contract extensions of five to seven years for two systems in Australia and Dow Chemical, Bonanotte said.

Jack Molloy, Motorola Solutions’ executive vice president of worldwide sales and service, said the growing popularity of the company’s services business can be attributed to the technical evolution of LMR and the maintenance philosophies of the entities that own them.

“There's really an inflection point in the market--we've seen that this exists in the last five to six years,” Molloy said. “Historically, a good deal of our customers maintains their own network and … these are labor-union employees that come at a pretty significant cost to the employee base. And it was really an analog world—we essentially supplied all the parts for our own systems.

“The world, through P25, is pivoted to really IP-based networks. [There are] a lot of third-party components, which has driven the sophistication and … the complexity of the networks, which has opened the door for us, because they're quite sophisticated to maintain.”

Bonanotte said that these LMR services contracts account for about 65% of the company’s total services revenues.