Oregon’s Wireless Interoperability Network (OWIN) selected Harris Corp. as its radio system and service provider. Specifically, the state will purchase Harris’ Project 25 ISSI-compliant mobile and portable radios for multiband capabilities within a single radio unit. The units will support communications between local firefighters, police officers and emergency medical responders, who will be able to use the enhanced system in addition to their existing radio systems, said Victoria Dillon, Harris’s communications director.

“The company’s P25 system is an IP-based LMR system, which will provide users with capabilities of P25 and interoperability with current and future networks,” she said.

OWIN resulted from the state’s legislative mandate that radio networks operated independently by the Department of Transportation, State Police, Forestry Department and Department of Corrections must consolidate. Currently, the agency is working on constructing a public-safety radio system from the ground up, including infrastructure and radio systems, said Don Hamilton, OWIN spokesperson. The goal is to have a network that consolidates the four existing independent state radio systems and offers interoperability so public-safety radio users in Oregon can communicate with responders from other agencies and jurisdictions, Hamilton said. It also will comply with the Federal Communications Commission’s Dec. 31, 2012, deadline to transition state radios from wideband to narrowband.

“We look forward to working with all of our new private-sector partners on building out the network, which will provide more reliable communications to public-safety personnel,” Hamilton said.

Dillon said the contract will cover the entire OWIN territory, starting in the northwest during the first round of deployment, which is expected to start this spring.

“It is a unique opportunity because it’s a great service to public safety and first responders in Oregon,” she said. “They’ve waited a long time for this and have been very diligent about working towards interoperability. We think our solution is going to provide them with exactly what they need.”