Emergency services network a step closer

The Home Office this week announced the companies that have been selected to tender for the new emergency services network (ESN), aimed at delivering an integrated critical voice and broadband data service to all three emergency services, including the police.

Jul 9, 2014
By Dilwar Hussain

The Home Office this week announced the companies that have been selected to tender for the new emergency services network (ESN), aimed at delivering an integrated critical voice and broadband data service to all three emergency services, including the police.

The contract, valued at between £555 million and £1.22 billion, is divided them into four lots that include integration, management, infrastructure and operating services. These are:

Lot 1 – Atkins, Kellogg Brown and Root, KPMG, Lockheed Martin and Mott MacDonald will tender for transition support, cross-lot integration and user support and training services;

Lot 2 – Airwave Solutions, Astrium Limited, CGI IT, HP Enterprise Services and Motorola Solutions will tender for the provision of end-to-end systems integration for the ESN, provide public safety communications services and to supply the necessary telecommunications infrastructure, user device management, customer support and service management systems;

Lot 3 – Airwave Solutions, EE, Telefonica, UK Broadband Networks and Vodafone will tender for a resilient mobile network to enable an enhanced mobile communications service with highly available full coverage; and

Lot 4 – Airwave Solutions, Arqiva, EE, Telefonica and Vodafone will tender for a neutral host to provide a highly available telecommunications network.

Tenders will be submitted in the autumn and will then be subject to detailed evaluation. The Home Office said contracts will be awarded in 2015 with the new ESN set to go live from 2016/17.

Damian Green, Policing, Criminal Justice and Victims Minister, said: “We remain on track to deliver this key part of our critical national infrastructure by the end of 2016 and this marks another step towards the emergency services having the modern communications network they need to protect the public and save lives.”

The new network is being developed in close partnership with the police, fire and ambulance services and will add broadband data capabilities – increasingly used by all three.

In addition to the 250,000 operational staff across the three emergency services, including the three non-Home Office police services (British Transport Police, Ministry of Defence Police and Civil Nuclear Constabulary), the service will be required to cover the 44 police and crime commissioners’ services, 50 fire and rescue authorities/services, 13 ambulance trusts, the National Crime Agency and the National Police Air Service, together with the 400-plus government and local public safety bodies using the current system.

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