Motorola Buys Public Safety Radio Network

Motorola Inc. will purchase and expand a public safety radio network in South Carolina owned by SCANA Communications Corp., Motorola announced June 18.

Motorola of Schaumburg, Ill., declined to disclose the terms of the agreement signed June 15, but said that when the network is expanded statewide it will be worth $60 million.

According to the terms, SCANA Communications of Columbia, S.C., will immediately turn over operations of the radio network to Motorola so it can expand the network statewide and replace outdated analog equipment with digital equipment.

Motorola has pledged to complete the system within 18 months of the time it begins operating.

The network will be the first statewide radio communications system in the United States that Motorola will own and operate for public safety and utilities customers, said the company.

The network, which serves public safety agencies and utilities throughout South Carolina, is a vital part of the state's communications infrastructure for emergencies such as hurricanes and evacuations. The current systems cover more than 70 percent of South Carolina and serve more than 9,400 public safety and utilities users.

SCANA Communications is a subsidiary of SCANA Corp., a $7 billion energy-based holding company also headquartered in Columbia. SCANA Communications owns and operates fiber-optic networks, wireless networks and communications towers.

The sale of the public safety radio network to Motorola will leave SCANA Communications free to pursue its other lines of telecommunications business.

Motorola had about 147,000 employees and annual revenue of $37.5 billion in 2000, according to Hoover's Online of Austin, Texas.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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