Home | Contact | First Lady | Biography | Staff

July 9, 2007




Company Will Deploy Mobile Response Equipment for 2007 Hurricane Season


(JACKSON, Mississippi) – Governor Haley Barbour announced today the State of Mississippi and Motorola, Inc. have signed a contract for the development and deployment of a statewide interoperable emergency communications voice and radio network.


For use by state and public safety agencies in emergencies such as natural disasters, the new mission critical voice and data system is designed to provide seamless interoperable emergency communications coverage throughout the state. It is known as the Mississippi Wireless Information Network (MSWIN) and will utilize the robust 700 MHz dedicated public safety network.


“This agreement begins the rollout of a critically important new asset as we work to serve Mississippians and help save lives in times of emergencies,” Governor Haley Barbour said. “Hurricane Katrina demonstrated it is imperative that government agencies have survivable interoperability – the ability to seamlessly communicate with each other – and this statewide, uniform wireless system will both expedite and support interagency communications.


“With a simple turn of the radio knob, a Mississippi Emergency Management Agency official could talk to the Harrison County Emergency Operations Center, the Hinds County Sherriff’s Office or Tupelo Police Department,” Governor Barbour said. “Reliable communications mean a quicker response time, which will help save lives and deliver time-sensitive information during a crisis.”


Motorola, the global leader in wireless mission critical public safety communications, was selected last November by Mississippi’s Wireless Communication Commission after a comprehensive competitive bidding process. With the development of the MSWIN system, Motorola will have deployed 28 of 32 advanced statewide emergency communication networks in the United States.


To assist the Mississippi Gulf Coast area during the current hurricane season, Motorola is immediately shipping three rapid deployable Sites on Wheels (SOWS) that will serve as an interim communication system while the permanent facilities are under construction.


“Motorola is committed to providing the State of Mississippi with the most advanced, interoperable public safety communications system that will help first responders communicate on a daily basis, as well as in the event of a large scale emergency,” said Bob Schassler, vice president, Motorola Enterprise Mobility Solutions. “This state of the art mission critical communications system will provide the State of Mississippi with advanced capabilities such as increased frequencies, talk groups, system redundancies and advanced interoperability for agencies throughout the state.


“Motorola has been working with public safety agencies throughout Mississippi for many years,” Schassler said. “We look forward to continuing to work together with the State of Mississippi to develop this important communications project that will greatly benefit the safety and security of the state and its citizens.”


The interim SOWS are expected to be operable in August. Motorola’s Rapid Deployment and Response plan also includes the shipment of thousands of Motorola radios within 24 hours of a disaster, as well as the dispatch of tower crews overnight when needed to assist in an emergency.


“We felt it was extremely important that we have reliable, redundant communications available during most of this hurricane season, and our Gulf Coast residents should know that first responders will be able to communicate should a disaster occur,” said Mississippi Public Safety Commissioner George Phillips, chairman of MWCC, the agency in charge of the public safety project.


Motorola will design and implement MSWIN in a three-phase timeline, using the Mississippi Highway Patrol districts as guidelines. Phase I will include the Southern Region of the state, and use MHP Districts 7, 8 and 9. Phase II will include the Central Region (MHSP Districts 1, 5 and 6) and Phase III the Northern Region (MHP Districts 2, 3 and 4). When completed, the network will include 135 radio tower sites statewide.


In addition to leveraging existing public and private communication infrastructure across the state, another benefit of MSWIN is that the Mississippi system will also be interoperable with public safety communications systems in several neighboring states, including Louisiana, Arkansas, Shelby County (Memphis) in Tennessee and Jefferson County (Birmingham) in Alabama.