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Issue #2003 - 10 (March 2003)
(Updated Mar. 26, 2003)


Martin County, Florida Accepts New Motorola Digital Communications System

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., March 20, 2003 – The Board of County Commission’s in Martin County, Fla. has accepted a new $9.1 million Motorola communications system to enable public safety agencies countywide to respond more quickly and efficiently to emergency calls. The system is part of Motorola’s extensive portfolio of integrated communications and information solutions to address mission-critical public safety and security requirements worldwide.

“We are pleased to report that the system came online a week ahead of schedule in December, 2002 resulting in a savings to the county of almost $20,000,” said Russ Blackburn, Martin County’s administrator. 

The new system replaces the county’s existing decade-old system, which had shown deteriorating performance for some time, according to Richard Jenkins Martin County’s radio system manager. 

“Our radio communications were plagued by ‘dead spots’ and the need for repeat transmissions during dispatch. Motorola worked with us to design a solution that addressed our specific safety concerns. As a result, our new system provides a significantly higher level of communications performance for public-safety agencies including the Sheriff’s Office, Fire and Rescue agencies, the city of Stuart, Sewall’s Point, Jupiter Island and the Martin County School District,” Jenkins said.

More than 1,400 subscribers are online, including county hospitals, jail, schools, Treasure Coast Mall and remote fire and police stations. Officials expect additional subscribers to come on the system this year, including the Red Cross and other local government agencies.

“We chose this system for its advanced digital technology that will provide reliable and secure communications needed by public safety agency users well into the future,” said Jenkins. 

The Motorola 800 MHz ASTRO® SmartZone® digital system uses simulcast technology to ensure that radio users anywhere in the county can communicate with each other, using handheld radios. All messages are broadcast from all four primary tower sites. Motorola’s MOSCAD fault-tolerant capability is built into the system to help ensure that if there would ever be a failure at a single site it would not cause a system-wide communications failure. MOSCAD also continually monitors system performance.

“Motorola served as a real partner with us on this project, designing a system to provide the coverage and interoperability we were lacking, getting it up and running as quickly as possible, and even remedying an ongoing electrical problem at our Emergency Operations Center,” said Jenkins.

Electrical grounding problems had occurred during lightning storms in the past at Martin County’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC). During implementation and build-out of the new system, Motorola installed primary electrical grounding adjacent to the master site to ensure that everything was grounded and connected correctly. 

Dispatchers will operate from 16 new Motorola CENTRACOM Gold EliteTM consoles at the EOC in Martin County, and also at the County Sheriff’s Office, City of Stuart Police, Jupiter Island Public Safety and Indiantown Public Safety centers. The County also purchased the most recent versions of Motorola’s digital two-way radios, including ASTRO XTS 5000™ and ASTRO SPECTRA®, for public safety providers.

Initial testing of the system demonstrated significant improvement in coverage for the south end of the county and on Hutchinson Island. 

“These ‘holes’ in radio coverage have plagued the county for years with our old system and we are extremely satisfied with the results of initial testing which now show 95 to 99 percent coverage in these areas,” said Jenkins. 

An additional benefit is the technology’s interoperability with Motorola systems recently installed in the adjacent counties of St. Lucie and Palm Beach, enabling public safety agencies in all three counties to talk directly with each other. 

“The superior coverage and interoperability of the radio system will improve the quality and speed of police and fire responses between all of these jurisdictions,” said Jenkins. 

Martin County, located halfway between Miami and Orlando, spans 555 square miles and has a population of 130,000 people. 

For more information: http://www.motorola.com

MobileInfo Comments and Advisory: Motorola has been quite successful with its ASTRO communication system for public safety. Private radio networks do have a place and business case for cities, counties and municipalities because carriers are unable to provide them with guaranteed performance, ubiquitous coverage in less populated areas and a priority scheme that recognizes public safety's special needs over those of commercial establishments.

 Note: This news release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and section 21E of Securities Exchange act of 1934 in USA. Similar provisions exist in other countries. There is no assurance that the stipulated plans of vendors will be implemented. MobileInfo does not warrant the authenticity of the information. Readers should take appropriate caution in developing plans utilizing these products, services and technology architectures.  All trademarks used in this summary are the property of their respective owners.

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