Top 100 firm makes deal for 9-1-1 provider

TeleCommunication Systems sees growth opportunities building next generation emergency response systems.

TeleCommunication Systems Inc. added to it public safety offerings with the purchase this week of microDATA GIS Inc., a provider of Next Generation 9-1-1 systems.

The company is paying $37 million for microDATA including $20 million in cash and $14 million in notes and performance –based earn-outs.

microDATA brings deeper geographic information system expertise and a suite of public safety answering point equipment, such as computer aided dispatch, dashboard and call management products. The company also has a relationship with telecommunications provider CenturyLink.

TeleCommunication Systems sees next generation 9-1-1 as a growth opportunity, the company said in a statement. Drivers include the need to lower costs by converting to IP-based communication and the desire to provide the public with more communication options such as text-to-9-1-1 and multimedia communications such as video and photos.

The company cited a September 2011 Federal Communications Commission report that said state and local governments will spend up to $1.2 billion over the next 10 years for 9-1-1 upgrades, with an additional $1.5 billion spent on recurring connectivity, hosting and operations and maintenance. W

With the microDATA acquisition, TeleCommunication Systems will be able to offer systems across the spectrum of 9-1-1 needs, the company said.

"The E9-1-1 business is a foundation stone of our Commercial segment, providing us with stable, growing and recurring revenue and cash flow," said Maurice B. Tose, TeleCommunication Systems chairman and CEO.

The company, based in Annapolis, Md. is ranked No. 96 on the 2012 Washington Technology Top 100 list of the largest government contractors.