The Home Office has announced that EE has been selected to provide all of the UK's emergency services with a resilient national mobile network, giving 300,000 critical emergency workers access to 4G voice and data for the first time.
The Government’s £1 billion Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme (ESMCP), announced in the Spending Review, pledged to make Britain "a world leader in Emergency Services communications and a 4G pioneer". EE already has the UK’s biggest and most mature 4G network, and will expand coverage and enhance resilience to meet the Emergency Services’ critical communications requirements.
EE CEO Olaf Swantee said: "We are immensely proud to be selected to deliver this vital new network for Britain’s Emergency Services. We’ve worked closely with the Police and Ambulance crews to show the power of 4G in helping save time and save lives. We will now work tirelessly to deliver a highly resilient, truly nationwide 4G network to serve all of Britain’s Blue Light and First Responder teams across the UK."
The EE 4G network will significantly improve the efficiency of the Emergency Services by giving them access to the type of data and applications that have benefitted private businesses in recent years.
Some of the applications that the new network will enable for Britain’s Emergency Services are:
· An ambulance crew sending vital patient data on to the hospital to allow staff to make the best preparations for a patient’s arrival
· A policeman recording an arrest on a body worn camera, and live-streaming to nearby officers for assessment and support
· A fire and rescue crew assessing a burning building based on digital blue prints on tablets and live helicopter camera footage
EE’s new 4G Emergency Services Network will replace the existing TETRA system from mid-2017 as current contracts expire. EE has already committed to spend £1.5 billion on its network up to 2017, and will increase that investment in order to deliver the Emergency Services Network.
Work to enhance and expand the EE network has already commenced in order to be ready in time for the first transitions, and existing consumer, business and public sector customers will benefit from this. The dedicated EE Emergency Services team will work closely with the current provider, Airwave, the Lot 2 service provider, Motorola, and Lot 1 delivery partner KBR, as well as all 300,000 end users to manage a smooth transition to the new 4G network.
In order to deliver the Emergency Services Network (ESN), EE will:
· Build a new, highly resilient dedicated core network for the Emergency Services
· Build more than 500 new sites, expanding coverage in rural areas
· Switch on low frequency 800MHz spectrum on more than 3,800 sites to enhance rural and indoor coverage
· Implement the capability to afford network access priority to Emergency Services when required
· Implement VoLTE (calls over 4G), and new LTE voice capabilities including ‘push to talk’
· Deploy a fleet of Rapid Response Vehicles to ensure maximum service availability
· Implement satellite backhaul for Britain’s most hard-to-reach areas
ESMCP is a Home Office-led, cross-departmental programme set up to provide cheaper, better and smarter communications services for the emergency services.