UK radio technology company Etherstack has recently won a US$2.46 million P25 two-way radio network contract with Jersey Central Power and Light (JCP&L), part of the FirstEnergy electric utility group, in the USA.
The company, which also licenses mission critical radio technologies to equipment manufacturers and network operators around the globe, also reported a strong up-tick in royalty revenues based largely on growing sales of Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) equipment.
In New Jersey, Etherstack will deploy a digital radio communications network for JCP&L operations and maintenance employees covering 13 counties within the State. The contract value is US $2.46 million, while the expected ongoing support revenues for 10 years following completion of the project will be a further US$ 2.9 million in aggregate over the life of the contract.
The JCP&L deployment is expected to be completed this calendar year. JCP&L is Etherstack’s third major electric utility win in North America, and fifth large scale digital radio network in the US and Canadian markets.
JCP&L is the second electric utility within the FirstEnergy group to deploy an Etherstack digital trunked radio network conforming to the APCO P25 standard, with Allegheny Energy currently operating an Etherstack network spanning the States of Pennsylvania and Maryland.
The existing wide area Allegheny Energy network was deployed in 2012 and has operated flawlessly since deployment, including providing full service during the Hurricane Sandy disaster and immediate aftermath.
The JCP&L award is one of three large scale network awards/upgrades that the company expects to announce in 2016 from the utility and public safety market segments. The procurement and planning process for such networks can often exceed 12 months prior to contract award and announcement.
A review of first quarter royalty report data from Etherstack's technology licensees has shown a material increase (~55%) in royalty based revenues on per unit sales compared with previous projections which were based on reported data from the client base.
Etherstack attributed the significant increase primarily to a marked jump in unit sales of an emerging digital radio standard known as DMR, for which Etherstack licenses technology to wireless equipment manufacturers for use in their products.
The company also noted that North American royalties in particular have increased in the past quarter, potentially indicating an expected recovery in this market segment after several years of poor performance.