Motorola to build 700 MHz public-safety network in Houston

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Motorola Solutions (NYSE:MSI) appears to have won a contract to build an LTE network in the 700 MHz band for public-safety workers in Houston, Texas. The contract is notable considering Motorola is working to broaden its business in the public-safety sector, and recently scored a deal to build a similar 700 MHz LTE network in San Francisco.

The details of Motorola's contract in Texas are unclear. The company disclosed its contract in a filing with the FCC. A spokesman for Motorola Solutions declined to provide further details on the contract. Although LTE network technology is not specifically mentioned in the filing, the FCC recently agreed to standardize LTE for all 700 MHz public-safety networks.

Interestingly, Motorola's contact with Harris County, Texas--the state's largest county and home to Houston--appears to be part of a wider deployment of the network technology in the state. Motorola noted that Harris County selected Motorola "as its equipment vendor for technology that will be used in the Harris County layer of the intended public-safety broadband statewide network."

Motorola's deal in Texas is the company's latest public-safety win. The company in February announced a teaming with Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) for a solution that would allow public-safety agencies to access Verizon's LTE network as well as leverage LTE applications as a supplement to the private LTE networks that agencies will be building in the 700 MHz band. Separately, Motorola last year forged an alliance with Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) to deliver LTE solutions to first responders. (It's unclear whether Motorola's contract in Texas leverages the Ericsson and Verizon deals.)

Public-safety officials have been calling on FCC officials and federal legislators to create a nationwide, interoperable public-safety broadband network since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when first responders had difficulty communicating with various public-safety agencies due to the different communications networks in use. President Obama earlier this year proposed spending $10.7 billion for a public-safety network, funded by commercial spectrum auctions.

For more:
- see this FCC filing (PDF)

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