(Story updated at 11:30p.m. EST on Feb. 26 with response from Etherstack)

Datron World Communications yesterday announced its decision to discontinue its Guardian 2 P25 public-safety-radio product line while pursuing a breach-of-contract lawsuit against Etherstack, the technology supplier that has failed to deliver software and hardware for a tri-band P25 radio that was announced several years ago, according to Datron.

But Etherstack contends that Datron failed to pay Etherstack for work completed and for royalties on shipped items, according to Etherstack CEO David Deacon.

Datron’s announcement means the company no longer will sell a P25 product.

“Datron has determined that the [Guardian 2] product line is no longer a viable radio solution to offer to public-safety agencies,” a Datron press release states. ”The company has filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit in the federal district court in New York against technology supplier Etherstack PLC due to multi-year delays in receiving contract deliverables, which in turn has resulted in a much delayed release of the product line, notably the previously announced Tri-band model.”

Datron has sold its Guardian 2 P25 portables—also manufactured with Etherstack—that operate in VHF spectrum to two or three agencies, and the company will continue to support those devices, according to Datron spokesman Orion Linekin.

Although there had been rumors within the industry that Datron would exit the P25 market, the news became official with yesterday’s press release that publicly acknowledged the legal dispute with Etherstack, according to Linekin.

“We had not pulled out of the P25 market until our press release yesterday,” Linekin said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications.

Datron’s issues with Etherstack revolve around the P25 tri-band model, which was designed to operate in the VHF, UHF and 700/800 MHz bands. Although Datron announced the tri-band product several years ago, Etherstack has not delivered as contracted, so the tri-band P25 radio for the Guardian 2 series has yet to reach the marketplace, Linekin said.

“We’ve been trying to settle this between ourselves for probably about a year, and we’re now at the point where the resolution was to take it to legal action,” he said. “I don’t think anybody’s delivering the functionality that we’ve demonstrated with the tri-band model, but we don’t have a model that we’re ready to bring to market today. It just got to the point of, ‘This has been delayed so long, we’ve been out here marketing this product hand over fist, and we’re still at a point where we don’t have complete product line to bring to market. We can’t keep doing this.’

“In the tri-band, we have a working demonstration model that we can’t take to market yet. And we can’t promise it, because we’ve been promising it for so long, and it’s been delayed so many times, that we have no credibility to promise a delivery date on that product.”

Etherstack’s Deacon said his company is “not interested in litigating this through dueling press comments,” but he expressed a much different perception of the situation.

“We disagree with the material allegations of the complaint and the purported causation to withdraw from the market [for Datron],” Deacon said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “This is fundamentally a commercial dispute between the two companies, and Etherstack is actively pursuing Datron for unpaid milestones for product delivered, as well as for unpaid royalties for product delivered and shipped by Datron.

 “I’ll be very happy to see it decided by the court.”