* Eyes public safety deal announcements this year
* Says too early to estimate market size
* Motorola shares down 1 cent at $6.78 on NYSE
NEW YORK, May 18 (Reuters) - Motorola Inc MOT.N expects a sales boost from U.S. cities eyeing high-speed wireless upgrades to public safety systems with technologies like mobile video streaming, its Co-Chief Executive Greg Brown said.
To consumers, Motorola may be better known for its cellphone business, but its enterprise and government business was its biggest unit with $1.7 billion in first-quarter revenue compared to $1.6 billion in sales in the phone unit.
Brown, head of the unit which sells telecom equipment to enterprise and government clients, aims to grow the business further by forging contracts with big cities looking to use the latest wireless technologies to help keep citizens safer.
“We are in discussions now with a variety of customers around the delivery of these systems,” Brown told Reuters. He declined to name clients but said he should be able to soon. “I think it would be reasonable to expect some announcements between now and the end of the year,” he said.
The importance of security technology resurfaced in recent weeks after a bomb scare in Times Square, New York.
This prompted politicians to ask for at least $30 million more in federal aid for video and security measures for in the city, leading to hopes in some quarters a new business opportunity for technology companies [ID:nN05192088].
The executive said it was too soon to estimate the total addressable market for public safety mobile broadband.
But, in general he expects Motorola to sell its services to public safety organizations building networks based on Long Term Evolution (LTE), a high-speed wireless technology being adopted by the top two commercial US operators Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc T.N.
Applications could include video streaming to police cars so that they can monitor security situations on the road, Brown said.
He sees U.S. cities eventually forging partnerships with commercial carriers to boost their network capacity, but municipalities will initially build their own networks using city-owned wireless airwaves, known as spectrum.
Motorola’s Brown conceded that spectrum availability could slow development in some cities for a few years but said that commitments from U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s to expand spectrum availability should help speed up the process.
“Some (cities) have some of the spectrum but .. will clearly require more spectrum availability to be allocated and dedicated to public safety,” he said.
Shares of Motorola, which is splitting in two early next year, were down 3 cents at $6.75 on New York Stock Exchange in Monday afternoon trading. (Reporting by Sinead Carew; editing by Derek Caney)
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