Maryland County Awards Harris $34 M to Modernize First Responder Communications

First responders in Saint Mary's County, Maryland, are improving their critical communications through a new county-wide public safety radio network based on the latest standards for voice and data transmissions.

The county awarded Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) a $34 million contract to design and deploy a Project 25 (P25) Phase 2 standards-based radio system to provide greater coverage, including in-building coverage, for voice and data communications throughout the county's 764 square miles. P25 is a suite of technical standards for the design and manufacture of interoperable digital radio communications equipment.

The Harris P25 Phase 2 system will deliver an efficient and cost-effective migration path from Saint Mary's County's current Harris Enhanced Digital Access Communication System (EDACS) system with minimal disruption to day-to-day communications during implementation. Additionally, the new system supports interoperability with neighboring agencies, regardless of frequency band.

"The first responders in Saint Mary's County are committed to protecting the safety of our residents, and to do that, they require reliable and interoperable communication solutions that perform when needed most," said Bob Kelly, director of Emergency Services and Technology, Saint Mary's County. "After a comprehensive evaluation process, we chose the Harris system because it offered us the best coverage for our first responders' needs and is based on the latest generation of communication standards."

The 10-channel P25 Phase 2 system will operate at 800 MHz to provide reliable radio capabilities for law enforcement, fire and EMS agencies. The contract also includes long-term service and support maintenance. Adding to the system's cost effectiveness, the system design will leverage some elements of the existing infrastructure, including antenna sites. "We designed a system that meets the critical needs of Saint Mary's County first responders, who clearly emphasized their need for greater coverage throughout the county," said Steve Marschilok, president, Harris Public Safety and Professional Communications. "The Harris P25 Phase 2 system gives the county's public safety agencies the optimal path for modernizing their communications."

The Harris P25 Phase 2 system is part of the VIDA® network, a unified Internet Protocol-based voice and data communication system based on APCO P25 industry standards. VIDA delivers full IP management features, including interoperability without intervention of console operators, IP consoles, and other benefits inherent in open IP architecture systems.

Source: Harris Corporation (NYSE: HRS)
Date: Aug 22, 2012