One reason some industry analysts have expressed belief that the LTE mission-critical voice challenge might be solved in the near term was the fact that UK first responders were scheduled to transition from the Airwave TETRA network—owned by Motorola Solutions—to the ESN public-safety LTE network. However, that transition already has been delayed to mid-2018, and there is considerable speculation that it could be subject to further delays.

In addition to owning the Airwave network, Motorola Solutions is developing software and applications that are designed to operate with the ESN network being built by EE, a leading commercial carrier in the UK. When asked why UK officials have projected transitioning all first-responder communications to the ESN if mission-critical voice is not yet ready, Brown said, “I think that’s a better question for the customer than for us.”

In the meantime, Brown said Motorola Solutions is prepared to provide UK first responders with whatever service they need. Although the Vodafone network that provides core connectivity to the Airwave system is scheduled to shut down during the first quarter of 2020, Brown expressed confidence that Motorola Solutions could provide a solution that would support the Airwave network, if needed.

“Obviously, we provide Airwave today for the 300,000-plus first responders there with 99% coverage,” Brown said. “ESN recently was delayed nine months. They continue to work through their own targets, their own issues, and—quite frankly—their own internal discussions around timing and feature functionality.

“In parallel to that, we’re meeting all of the application requirements and deliverable requirements around what’s required for Motorola Solutions to deliver for ESN. So, that’s really up to them. We’re providing Airwave. In parallel, we’re meeting the milestones and deliverables for ESN. Ultimately, what they decide and when—and how to deploy which and optimize whatever mix—we stand ready to serve them in whatever they determine, but that’s their call.”