Northrop Grumman Wins NYC Safety Deal

Massive defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corp. has won a five-year, $500 million contract to provide a public-safety radio network in NYC.

The news comes just a day after the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, which highlighted in the most dramatic way possible the problems associated with having police and fire departments using separate radio systems that are unable to communicate with one another. (See Wireless Challenge Remains After 9/11.)

The network will use UMTS-based technology from IPWireless Inc. for the wireless links. Founded in April 1999, IPWireless has developed a high-speed, time-division duplex (TDD) data system that conforms to universal mobile telecommunications standards (UMTS) but -- unlike standard frequency-division duplex (FDD) 3G cellular systems -- uses unpaired spectrum, sending and receiving data on one channel rather than two (OCRTT).

The network will bring high-speed broadband data and video capabilities to New York’s wireless communications system. It also promises new wireless applications to support first responders and transportation personnel.

"Northrop Grumman's solution will provide our emergency responders with quick access to critical information in the field, enabling them to be better prepared to protect our city and its residents," said Paul Cosgrave, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, in a statement. "This decision comes at the end of a lengthy evaluation, including a pilot implementation in lower Manhattan during which equipment was tested and evaluated." — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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