Schaumburg-based Motorola Inc. Monday touted its new line of wireless broadband networks, products and services for police and fire departments that will roll out later this year and early next year.
The devices for first-responders may not have the immediate excitement rating of a new smartphone, but you may pay a lot more attention if one helps to save your life.
The new devices, and the networks behind them, will focus on next-generation Long Term Evolution, known as LTE, the ultra wireless broadband for mega multimedia applications.
"We like where we are," Motorola Co-CEO Greg Brown said about the business and its direction with newer, higher-speed infrastructure and products.
Brown will lead Motorola's Networks and Enterprise businesses they split to form a separately operated and publicly traded company from The Homes and Mobile Devices businesses in early 2011.
LTE will offer instantaneous speed for the new line, which is vital to emergency workers when seconds count, officials said, whether it's for a traffic stop, a fire, or terrorist attack. The line also will work on a different spectrum, away from the cell phone networks that have often jammed and failed during emergencies, such as during Hurricane Katrina and 9/11, company officials said.
Motorola also has been working on interoperability, when diverse emergency agencies from different locations use an unpredictable variety of products and networks. Motorola will be including Bluetooth wireless connections, so those agencies can communicate without problems, officials said.
A new host of audio and video products are being developed and the new Motorola aims to cater, as it often does now, to customer needs with a public-private focus. Motorola also would likely work with competitors, if necessary, to provide the best solution possible to help save lives, said Brown.
"It provides more opportunity for us to carve out," Brown said.
The new line is more resilient, said Eugene A. Delaney, president of Motorola's Enterprise Mobility Solutions.
"This is not premature," said Delaney. "It's fully baked and ready to roll out for customers. It's ready to go."
Some new products will help police officers more quickly check on a car's registration or the owner's criminal background, for instance, then input the necessary information, issue a traffic ticket and print it out.
That process eliminates potential confusion over handwriting and offers a reduced chance of the ticket getting thrown out of court, authorities said.
Video records can help support cases or emergency situations as well, they said. For example, some of the hand-held devices include a button that a police officer in a dangerous situation can press to redirect networked cameras to focus on his location.
Besides LTE, officials said Motorola also is looking into a variety of other new and emerging technologies that involve Internet or cloud computing, hosted applications and managed services, where Motorola personnel will operate some services from the company's offices instead of on-site at the local police or fire department.
Motorola already does some network management, remote diagnostics and hosting applications.
"What it comes down to is, the next generation offers more information on a real-time basis and the results will be better and they'll be better outcomes," said Delaney.