As public-safety communications migrate to a cellular architecture for data, combinations of vendors with commercial LTE expertise and those with mission-critical backgrounds are to be expected, so they can be positioned to pursue the public-safety broadband market in earnest. The recent teaming of EADS and Alcatel Lucent is a prime example, and I expect other companies to pursue similar arrangements.

One company I thought could make a legitimate run at the 4G public-safety business on its own is Motorola, because of the companies background in both the public safety and commercial sectors. For this reason, a quick snippet that Nokia Siemens was buying Motorola quickly sent me scurrying through the Internet in a panic.

Of course, these feelings simmered quickly upon learning that Motorola had only sold the commercial wireless networks portion of its business, as envisioned under the company’s planned split.

With public safety’s considerable interest in LTE technology, the one potential reservation is that Motorola is getting out of the commercial wireless market at the exact time when its public-safety and enterprise customers are becoming most interested in cellular-based technology solutions. However, Motorola will retain access to its commercial wireless intellectual property rights, and at least some personnel from the commercial networks division made the migration to the public-safety side of the business earlier this year.

I have no idea whether the $1.2 billion price tag paid by Nokia Siemens favors either company, but the deal should help Motorola set a very clear direction for its future. Now, when the commercial handset division becomes its own company next year, the part of Motorola that will be led by current co-CEO Greg Brown will be able to focus on developing solutions for the government, public-safety, government and enterprise sectors.

If Motorola executes properly, this structure should be good news for customers, who no longer will have to wonder — correctly or not — whether the company’s interests are divided with the commercial wireless side of the business.

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