Ontario Announces $765M Public-Safety Radio Upgrade Project
Wednesday, October 30, 2019 | Comments

The Ontario, Canada, government selected Bell Mobility to rebuild core components of the aging Public Safety Radio Network (PSRN). The $765 million agreement to reconstruct core infrastructure, replace outdated equipment and maintain the new radio network will help keep communities safe.

Bell Mobility Radio and Motorola are the successful bidders to supply the LMR system. A total of six different procurements are being carried out to support this project, which will use Project 25 (P25) equipment. The procurements are for the operations and maintenance of the civil infrastructure — the radio, infrastructure and engineering (RIE) services — of the new radio network. RIE is an active procurement process.

“Infrastructure, user equipment and services required to set up and maintain the new network will be acquired through an open and transparent competitive, multivendor procurement process,” the PSRN website said.

"In a crisis, every second counts," said Premier Doug Ford. “Replacing our aging emergency radio network is not only vital to public safety, it's long overdue. Working with our chosen vendors, we're confident this investment will give our first responders on the frontlines access to a reliable, cutting-edge network, so they can do their jobs and keep our families and communities safe."

Under this project, Bell Mobility will build the LMR network — the network's core infrastructure — as well as supporting antennas, servers and data center equipment, which together will provide essential public-safety radio coverage across the province. Bell Mobility will also provide first responders, as well as their dispatchers, with radio equipment and consoles that enable quick and effective responses in emergency situations, as well as network and radio equipment maintenance services for 15 years.

"Ontario's frontline and first responders rely on one of North America's largest and most complex public-safety radio networks to protect people in the face of emergencies," said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. "By rehabilitating and advancing the province's radio network, we can improve connectivity and prevent daily service outages that obstruct frontline and emergency responders and put public safety at risk."

This modernization project will ensure Ontario's more than 38,000 frontline and emergency responders — including Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officers, paramedics and hospital staff, forest fire services, provincial highway maintenance staff, as well as parks, enforcement and correctional officers — can count on the communications infrastructure, network and equipment they need when responding to emergencies.

"The PSRN is an essential piece of our northern community infrastructure that supports emergency and law enforcement services," said Greg Rickford, minister of energy, northern development and mines and minister of indigenous affairs. "The modernization of the radio network is especially important in the north, where communications and first responders must cut through some of North America's most rugged terrain to reach some of our most isolated communities."

Transition to the new network will begin in 2021 and is targeted to be fully operational by June 2023.

"We're proud to be working with Bell Mobility to build and maintain for 15 years a new mission-critical radio network for the province of Ontario," said George Krausz, president, Motorola Solutions Canada. "The new Motorola Solutions ASTRO 25 radio network will provide interoperable communications for the province's government ministries for day-to-day operations and when they need to coordinate a fast, multi-agency response to help keep communities safe."

Ontario's PSRN is one of the largest and most complex public-safety radio networks in North America covering about 750,000 square kilometers and was last replaced in 1998. The network is outdated and does not meet the North American open standard for public-safety radio set in 2001.

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