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Motorola lands Baghdad police radio deal

The US Defense Department has awarded a $15.8m contract to the federal markets division of Motorola for a radio system for the Baghdad Police Force.

Betsy Flood, a spokeswoman for the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), said the Baghdad contract covers the purchase, delivery, distribution and installation of 3,000 portable and vehicle-mounted mobile radios, base stations, spare parts, repeaters and towers.

Trunked radio systems allow for the automatic sharing of multiple radio channels. A group of channels is assigned to a group of users - such as police or fire department users - who then share the channels.

When a user attempts to make a call with his radio, a trunked system searches for an available channel and assigns it to the call. Motorola manufactures a line of trunked radio systems that support the Tetra standard, which features built-in encryption and can scale up to support as many as 30,000 users.

Tetra, short for terrestrial trunked radio, is the European Telecommunications Standardisation Institute's only open standard for digital two-way radio.

Neither the Pentagon nor DISA could immediately explain exactly what constitutes the "Baghdad Police Force". Press reports since the fall of Baghdad have said the Iraqi-manned police force has been disarmed and all but disbanded, although some Iraqi police officers do patrol with the US military.

Last month the Defense Department awarded MCI a contract to install a cellular telephone system in Baghdad to facilitate communications among US personnel.

Bob Brewin writes for Computerworld


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