Motorola Solutions Australia will expand and upgrade the P25 mission-critical radio network serving Victoria Police, Ambulance Victoria and the Metropolitan Fire Brigade.

The Partnerships Victoria managed service contract has been extended for seven years (valued at AUD $261 million) with an opportunity to extend for a further five year, extending Motorola Solutions’ delivery of mission-critical voice communications to the State of Victoria beyond 20 years.

In addition to upgrading the Metropolitan Mobile Radio network (MMR), Motorola Solutions will provide enhanced data services and incremental safety features including GPS and location services, enabling agencies to better manage their vehicles and personnel. The service will also provide customised online reporting, giving agencies information about their radio network use and include a trial of the company's software-defined push-to-talk solution to extend radio network access to more users via broadband.

The upgrade will also provide public safety agencies with a strategic interface to their Triple Zero emergency call and dispatch systems, which the company claims will enable them to access more services and data-based capabilities over time.

The MMR network began operation in 2005, providing mission-critical, digitally encrypted voice communication for emergency services throughout greater metropolitan Melbourne. Since then it has consistently met and exceeded service levels, including stringent availability targets to provide Victorian public safety agencies with a highly secure and reliable service. Victorian first responders made more than 40 million push-to-talk voice transmission calls across the network in 2017.

Motorola Solutions claims that the the network enables the three agencies to communicate seamlessly with one another for enhanced emergency response and 24/7 support from Motorola Solutions’ Melbourne-based control centre. Later this year, Victoria State Emergency Service, Corrections Victoria and Life Saving Victoria will also join the network.

“For the past 13 years the MMR network has provided essential communications for Victoria’s first responders when they have needed it most," said Motorola Solutions vice president and managing director, Steve Crutchfield. "This includes uninterrupted coverage during Victoria’s tragic Black Saturday bushfires in 2009 and reliable performance during many other major emergencies.”

Author: Sam Fenwick