UK Motorola Airwave network to be investigated

October 26, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
 UK Motorola Airwave network to be investigated
The UK government is to investigate Motorola Solutions over its dual role as Airwave radio network owner and future Emergency Services Network supplier.

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is to launch a market investigation following a consultation, opened in July 2021, which set out concerns about the impact of the dual role of Motorola as the owner of the company providing the current mobile radio network for police, fire and emergency services and as a key supplier in the roll-out of the planned new Emergency Services Network (ESN).

After the CMA considered the evidence gathered and reviewed the responses to this consultation, an independent group will now investigate the sector and decide if there are problems, and if so, put in place appropriate solutions. The CMA is concerned that the market for the supply of the mobile radio network used by all emergency services in Great Britain might not be working well, resulting in a more expensive service for customers.

The concerns include insufficient information being provided on pricing, particularly in relation to the projects and associated costs needed to maintain and refresh the current network. As a result of this, and the importance of the Airwave network for public safety in Great Britain, the UK’s Home Office is in a weak bargaining position and unable to secure value for money.

Due to Motorola’s dual role, Motorola has an incentive to delay or shape the roll-out of the ESN to its advantage, given the significant profits it currently receives from operating the Airwave network.

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