Comlabs Beefs Up Its Alerting Offerings

It acquires RDS-based specialist viaRadio Corp.
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It acquires RDS-based specialist viaRadio Corp.

There’s an acquisition in the busy emergency alerting sector. Communications Laboratories Inc., which makes emergency warning and communication technology, is acquiring viaRadio Corp., an emergency notification firm whose infrastructure includes RDS signals on 130 FM stations.

“Comlabs will now offer FM-based, Radio Data System alert notification products and services as part of its nationwide Emergency Management Network (EMnet),” the purchaser stated. The announcement was made by Roland Lussier, president and CEO of Comlabs. He called Envoy “a powerful addition to EMnet’s last-mile notification and mobile alerting capabilities.”

EMnet is a CAP-based satellite communication and warning network that provides alerts and notifications, used by emergency managers, broadcasters and first responders.

ViaRadio’s Envoy Emergency Warning System uses FM-based RDS to send alerts to HEARO local receivers and other devices. A selling point is that the system can target groups and individuals using desktop alert clients, push notifications, cell phone alerts and e-mail.

Comlabs started in 1985 out of Maine; its EMnet service deployed first in Florida, where the company is now based. Comlabs says it has 2,300 sites and “is now the largest satellite communication and CAP-based warning system in North America.” ViaRadio began in Florida in 2005; it offers RDS emergency alerting networks for governments and other large organizations; its signals are carried by FM stations in nine states. ViaRadio was owned by 2wcom of Germany. Price and terms were not disclosed. ViaRadio employees and offices, including President Bill Marriott, move to the Comlabs plant nearby in Melbourne, Fla.

Their gear will be on display in the Digital Alert Systems and FEMA IPAWS booths in Las Vegas this week.