As Motorola’s cell phone division readies for a possible move out of Illinois and even a takeover, will Motorola come to depend primarily on its business selling walkie-talkies for police and fire departments?
Motorola Co-CEO Greg Brown hosted a tour May 17 of the company’s Innovation Center in Schaumburg to show off “next generation” security solutions that will let police and fire departments get live voice, video and text dispatches via their patrol car computers and on hand-held devices that sync up with their car computers.
Motorola’s plans reflect just as much its history as its cell phone advances, since the Schaumburg-based company 20 years ago introduced the “man down” feature on its emergency walkie-talkies. An officer who is shot or immobilized hits an orange button on the side of the radio and his alert is given first priority on the network to be sent within one to two seconds to the dispatcher and surrounding officers.
Morningstar analyst Joe Beaulieu said public safety is Motorola’s strongest business and could become bigger than the cell phone business by the end of the 2010 fiscal year.
“As police departments become more strapped [for funding], they will rely more on automated systems, including having cameras in their cars and hand-held devices,” Beaulieu said. “Motorola will be able to grow this business [from 7 to 9 percent] in revenues in the next five years due to government spending.”
Thanks: SMART IP VIDEO BLOG & NEWS