Governments and other enterprises wanting secure voice communications while using commercial networks have a new option with Motorola Solutions recently launched Assured Mobile Environment (AME), a secure mobile telephony solution that features hardware-based encryption.

"Commercial mobile devices such as smartphones, e-readers and tablets offer unprecedented opportunities for advanced communication. Until now, the security vulnerabilities of these devices have impeded adoption by federal government agencies," Brenda Herold, corporate vice president for Motorola Solutions, said in a prepared statement.

"With this next generation of high-assurance mobile communications devices, Motorola Solutions is excited to support our federal civilian agency and military customers as they usher in a new era of collaboration and mission success."

Motorola Solutions is leveraging the techniques used to provide end-to-end encryption in a P25 environment in the AME 1000 solution, which includes a Motorola ES400 enterprise smartphone (below), a CRYPTR micro encryption module, Apriva Voice software and a Apriva gateway infrastructure. While it is available immediately to any enterprise, Motorola Solution designed AME 1000 with the needs of government users in mind, said Gary Schluckbier, senior manager for the secure products group at Motorola Solutions.

"What the AME 1000 does is it provides the ability to communicate between two end points — such as between a city attorney to a city manager, or a protective agent to his assigned protectee — over a public carrier network [with] the security that's provided in a P25 network when P25 might not be appropriate," Schluckbier said.

"This is new for us, and I think it's new industrywide. The customer base … is looking at security in a new way and also looking at handheld smartphone-types of devices in a new way to accomplish things for their mission."

With the AME 1000, voice traffic is transmitted over a carrier's data network, Schluckbier said. While the AME 1000 is designed to ensure the security of voice communications, the underlying commercial carrier network dictates whether the reliability and performance is great enough to be deemed mission-critical, he said.

Indeed, when the AME 1000 is implemented on a private broadband network with appropriate prioritization and quality-of-service features, it would meet mission-critical standards, Schluckbier said. However, the solution is just a step in the effort for Motorola to create mission-critical voice-over-broadband solutions for public safety, which requires peer-to-peer and one-to-many capabilities that have not been addressed in the commercial mobile broadband environment.

While this version of the AME 1000 is designed to work solely over commercial networks, a subsequent version will allow secure voice communications from a commercial user into a P25 network, Schluckbier said.

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