Mobile phoneEight organisations are in contention for contracts to run the new Emergency Services Network with bids for all three lots expected back in the next few weeks.

Lots 1 and 2 of the Emergency Services Network (ESN) contract will put in place a delivery partner for the new network and provide user services. Bidders for Lot 1 are: Atkins, KBR, Lockheed Martin and Mott MacDonald.

Lot 2 bidders are HP and Motorola but the main part of the contract, Lot 3, is for a resilient mobile services network for the police, fire and rescue and ambulance services.

The bidders for this Lot are EE (in the process of being bought by BT) and O2 (owned by Telefónica).

Welcoming the progress made towards giving the UK’s emergency services a modern communications network, Minister for Policing Mike Penning said: “Our goal to provide the UK’s emergency services with the best communications network in the world is making excellent progress, and we are on course to sign contracts later this year.

“Making sure our emergency services have the best tools to help them do their job is paramount. As well as offering the emergency services much more capacity, flexibility and functionality than the old system, the new network er around £1bn over the next 15 years.”

The new services will replace the existing system from mid-2017 as the current contracts expire. The ESN will use a commercial network to deliver broadband data services.