U.K. Home Office: CMA Should Require Motorola to Provide MCPTT Interworking for ESN, Airwave
Friday, June 03, 2022 | Comments

The U.K. Home office told the U.K. Competition and Market Authority that Motorola Solutions should be required to provide an interworking solution between its Kodiak mission-critical push-to-talk (MCPTT) solution and an alternative MCPTT solution.

The Home Office filed the response to the CMA’s ongoing investigation into Motorola Solutions’ dual roles as owner of the Airwave network and a supplier for the Emergency Services Network (ESN), which is set to replace the Airwave network.

The CMA officially launched the investigation into the Motorola’s dual roles in October. During the investigation, both the Home Office and EE, another supplier on the ESN project, have expressed concern that as owner of the Airwave network, Motorola would have financial incentive to delay the ESN.

In an earlier filing, the Home Office, which is the government department in charge of the ESN deployment, noted that Motorola is the sole provider of MCPTT software for the ESN and because of this could control the transition from the Airwave to the ESN network.

In the newest filing with the CMA, the U.K. Home office said it wanted to dig into the interworking more deeply.

“As a result of Motorola’s delivery failures, resulting in substantial delay to the ESN, the Home Office intends to procure an alternative MCPTT service (alt-MCPTT),” the filing said. “For all users to effectively transition from the Airwave network to the ESN utilizing an alt-MCPTT, the alt-MCPTT would require network access to and interworking with the Airwave network on at least the same or on an as equivalently good basis as the access and interworking Motorola has developed between the Airwave network and the ESN for the Kodiak MCPTT.”

The Home Office said that the current contract for Airwave service includes few requirements for interworking and what is included does not extend to Motorola, which acquired the Airwave network after that contract.

Therefore, the Home Office said that any CMA remedy in the investigation should include interworking. As part of this, the remedy should include an obligation for Motorola to “negotiate and provide an interworking solution on reasonable request.” The Home Office also encouraged the CMA to consider several factors of an interworking remedy including “the provision of high level and detailed designs; deliverables, milestones and statements of work; security; data sharing; outline and detailed implementation plans; and testing, verification and acceptance.”

In a hearing with the CMA that was held in February, Motorola addressed the interworking issue briefly. According to the transcript for the hearing, Motorola said that as part of negotiations with the Home Office in 2018, the two sides agreed that if the Home Office decided to move to a different MCPTT solution, Motorola would provide a standards-based interface into the Airwave network.

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