Motorola Solutions (MSI) Picked By Rio Tinto (RIO) For Mining Communications System 


One result of the current COVID-19 crisis is many processes, the most notable being the search for virus vaccines and treatments, have accelerated. But innovation isn’t contained to only the medical field. Motorola Solutions (MSI) has joined the race to speed innovation in safety measures supporting business continuity.

Working closely with Rio Tinto (RIO), MSI has rolled out a critical communications system that ensures mining operations can survive a disaster and maintain communication functionality. 

As the pandemic reaches all corners of the globe, MSI is seeing an increased demand for backup systems that provide redundancy for critical operations. Many companies are reviewing their business continuity plans in the current crisis. And, communications continuity is a major concern, with many work forces now operating from a decentralized approach. 

Commenting on the RIO solution, Martin Chappell, General Manager of Energy and Natural Resources for Motorola Solutions Australia & New Zealand said, “Any communications equipment used in mining must adhere to the highest standards to keep workers safe and maintain security and reliability across the entire operation.”

Even though the current Motorola system used by Rio Tinto is state-of-the-art, it is tied to a centralized Integrated Operations Center (IOC), staffed by Rio Tinto personnel. If, due to a COVID-19 outbreak, that center were to lose its ability to operate, the new distributed system will play a critical role ensuring business continuity.

The new system was developed and deployed at an unprecedented pace. Teams from Rio Tinto and Motorola, working together, had the system up and running in just five days. 

Chappell said the ability to deploy distributed communications systems in the current environment is essential. “Through a combination of rugged radios, purpose-built dispatch consoles and essential back-up links, we are providing Rio Tinto Aluminium with effective protection for its people and assets to ensure business continuity throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Motorola stock, initially down substantially, like many other companies at the outset of the virus, has recovered a large portion of its losses in the last few weeks. The stock topped out just over $185, before a precipitous drop to $125 at the lows of the market. 

The common has now rebounded to over $150, and trades at a PE of just over 30. The company’s operations are seen as essential, and Motorola has continued to support customers throughout the crisis. 

More on MSI: Motorola Solutions Announces Acquisition of IndigoVision

As with many other companies, Motorola has implemented work from home orders for employees where appropriate, and is providing increased hygiene measures at its facilities housing critical employees. 

Steven Adams’s personal position in Motorola Solutions: none.

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