Vancouver, B.C.—E-Comm—Emergency Communications for British Columbia Incorporated—and its partners within the police, fire and ambulance services, have selected Motorola Solutions Canada to supply radio infrastructure equipment and related services for the planned replacement of the regional emergency communications radio system.
The new radio system will be based on digital radio technology known as Project 25 (P25) in the 700 MHz band, an open standard that public-safety agencies across North America have widely adopted. This technology was endorsed by the Lower Mainland emergency services community following more than a year of consultation, analysis and testing.
E-Comm is well-positioned for this major technological undertaking, known as the Next Generation Radio Program (NGRP), having commenced planning several years ago. It is anticipated the new radio system will be fully rolled out across Metro Vancouver and Abbotsford by the end of 2017.
Motorola Solutions was selected following a three-stage competitive procurement process for the supply of radio infrastructure equipment and related services. Selection occurred following evaluation and due-diligence assessment of proposals from multiple qualified vendors using a rigorous methodology incorporating independent external oversight.
Motorola Solutions’ proposal was determined by the evaluation team to deliver the best value for E-Comm’s partner agencies from both technical and financial perspectives. Proposals were evaluated based on pre-determined criteria including more than 550 mandatory technical requirements and a lifecycle cost model. The contract covers the P25 radio infrastructure equipment and related services components of the NGRP and has a fixed-price value of $23.5 million, excluding taxes.
“The objective is to implement a new radio system that maintains both public and responder safety, and serves our region as long and as well as the first system that was established almost 16 years ago,” said Richmond Fire Chief John McGowan, chair of the radio user working group (comprised of senior representatives from police, fire and ambulance services), that worked closely with E-Comm to oversee the new network design and technology selection.
“All technology has a finite operational life and must be replaced at some point,” Chief McGowan added. “We are preparing to implement a best-in-class digital system that will be even more resilient and reliable in the field, provide higher performance, high security and provide greater audio clarity for first responders, particularly in noisy and hazardous environments.”
The new network design, incorporating enhanced service level and coverage requirements, has been developed by E-Comm, reviewed by Motorola Solutions and endorsed by police, fire and ambulance user representatives. Overall, the initiative is on track including the launching of a pilot in mid-2015.
The entire cost of replacing the radio system infrastructure is estimated at approximately $60 million (excluding agency-funded user equipment), with the supply of infrastructure equipment being the single largest procurement within the NGRP. However, because this is a planned transition, the annualized cost of the new radio network will be about the same as the annual cost of the current network, even with its enhanced features. The new radio system will be funded throughout its lifecycle by a continuation of the annual levies that user agencies pay for the current radio system.
“We are extremely eager to move forward on this significant public-safety infrastructure enhancement and are determined to continue to manage this major undertaking in a cost-effective, responsible and strategic manner on behalf of our Members, and the men and women of emergency services,” said David Guscott, E-Comm president & CEO. “The program’s top priority is the protection of public and responder safety.”
George Krausz, president of Motorola Solutions Canada, said “We understand the importance of providing E-Comm’s Member agencies with a state-of-the-art, robust, reliable solution designed to deliver superior field performance to maintain public and responder safety for many years to come. We are very pleased with the opportunity to work with the talented teams at E-Comm and its partner agencies to implement Motorola Solutions’ ASTRO® Project 25 radio infrastructure for high-performance, secure and interoperable P25 communications for current and next generation police, fire and ambulance services.”
With a planned service life of approximately 15 years, the current E-Comm wide-area radio system is used by all police departments and BC Emergency Health Services (BC Ambulance Service) in Metro Vancouver and Abbotsford, in addition to 12 fire departments in Metro Vancouver. More than 8,500 radios are in use generating more than ten-million transmissions each month.
E-Comm is the largest 9-1-1 call centre in British Columbia and is located in Vancouver. E-Comm is the first point of contact for 9-1-1 callers in Metro Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast and Squamish-Lillooet Regional Districts, the communities of Whistler and Squamish, and 18 regional districts within the Northern, Central and Southern Interiors and on Northern Vancouver Island. E-Comm also provides dispatch services for 33 police and fire departments throughout British Columbia and owns and operates the wide-area radio network used throughout Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley by police, fire and ambulance personnel. For additional information about E-Comm visit: ecomm911.ca
About Motorola Solutions
Motorola Solutions (NYSE: MSI) creates innovative, mission-critical communication solutions and services that help public safety and commercial customers build safer cities and thriving communities. For ongoing news, visit www.motorolasolutions.com/newsroom or subscribe to a news feed.