Motorola CEO Discusses U.K. Investigation into Airwave Ownership, ESN Involvement
Friday, November 05, 2021 | Comments

Motorola Solutions CEO Greg Brown briefly discussed an ongoing investigation into its ownership of the Airwave network and its involvement in the Emergency Services Network (ESN) project by the U.K. government during an earnings call.

Last month, the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that an independent group will investigate Motorola’s dual roles as owner of the Airwave network and a supplier of the ESN project.

At the time the investigation launched, the CMA said it is concerned that because of Motorola’s dual role in both projects, it would have an incentive to “delay or shape the rollout of the ESN to its advantage” because of the profits it makes from the Airwave network.

The ESN is intended to take the place of the Airwave network, which currently provides communications for public-safety services in the country. The U.K. government’s agreement with Motorola for Airwave service was supposed to end in 2019 but because of delays in the ESN project has been extended. The U.K. Home Office has said that the Airwave network may provide services to first responders in the country until 2025.

During the 4 November earnings call, Brown said that the company’s current contract for Airwave runs through 2022 and the Home Office has expressed interest in extending that contract. Motorola’s ESN contract runs through 2024, Brown said.

Brown said that he expects the CMA investigation to continue into much of next year.

“We also are obviously involved with the CMA and are adhering to the process they outlined,” he said. “I think the process will take several months, and it will go well into 2022.”

Aside from that, Brown said that he didn’t have much more to say about the investigation aside from noting that Motorola continued to invest in the Airwave network to keep it current and reliable for the current users.

“We’ll continue to dialogue with both the U.K. Home Office and the CMA, and I am hopeful that we will have constructive outcomes, but we’ll see how it plays out over the next couple of months,” Brown said.

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