U.K. Officials Research Kodiak PTT Platform for ESN
Monday, June 18, 2018 | Comments

U.K. Home Office and public-safety officials researched the Kodiak push-to-talk (PTT) solution from Motorola Solutions for the country’s public-safety Long Term Evolution (LTE) network during a trip to the United States last week. The group is considering moving to the Kodiak technology rather than the previously planned Motorola WAVE 7000.

The Emergency Services Mobile Communications Program (ESMCP) officials traveled with “a group of customer representatives” to Kodiak’s headquarters in Plano, Texas, USA, June 11, said Becca Jones, ESMCP director of customer engagement.

“This was an exploratory visit to hear a little more about Kodiak and see the product in action, and we aren’t in a position to say much more at the moment, as the program is under review,” said an ESMCP spokesman. “However, we will be in a position to say more once the review is complete at the end of July.”

During a February U.K. parliamentary hearing, Joanna Davinson, chief digital, data and technology officer at the Home Office, said the U.K. Home Office report updating the parliamentary committee on the Emergency Services Network (ESN) timelines and budget — originally expected in January — will now be available by the end of July.

The group June 12 traveled to Fairfax County, Virginia, to learn how that county is using the Kodiak product. “They wanted to see how we were using it and get public safety’s input on it,” said Mike Newburn, communications technology manager and senior technical and wireless communications policy expert for Fairfax County. “They asked what our road map is and how we’ve implemented it. They really like the capabilities and feature sets that Kodiak presented to them. They asked similar questions as others have — what does this means to your public-safety radios?”

Jones posted a photo of the group that included Jones; Newburn; Kris Patel from Kodiak; Chief Inspector Jonathan Goosey MSt (Cantab), operational change assurance officer at Operational Communications in Policing (OCiP); John Adams, head of technical assurance for OCiP; Chris Lucas, Ambulance Radio Programme; Keith Williamson, West Midlands Policing Region ESN program director; David Robinson and Simon Hussey from Motorola; and Andy Noy from the ESMCP Programme.

In May 2016, Motorola reported a “significant win” in the United Kingdom to provide interoperability between the nationwide TETRA network and the ESN with Motorola’s WAVE 7000 solution.

Motorola Solutions purchased Kodiak last year. At the time, Jeff Spaeth, Motorola vice president of software and systems enablement, said there are three legs to the PTT market. The first is over-the-top PTT solutions that integrate various networks, and its WAVE products target that segment. The second area is high-performance public-safety LTE and tightly integrated PTT solutions with networks. Spaeth said an example is WAVE 7000. The third market is for carrier-integrated services targeting the commercial and industrial sectors.

If the ESN adopts the Kodiak solution, it will use the same mission-critical PTT (MCPTT) technology as the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). AT&T signed a product agreement with Motorola for its Kodiak carrier-integrated PTT product, along with the eventual MCPTT version of the Kodiak service, said Chris Sambar, AT&T FirstNet senior vice president, in March.

“We are in the process of developing that [MCPTT service] in conjunction with them,” Sambar said. AT&T plans to release a request for proposals (RFP) for a second carrier-integrated MCPTT technology later this year.

Southern Linc, a U.S. carrier targeting utilities and public safety, said in April it will use the WAVE 7000 platform for mission-critical PTT (MCPTT) service.

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