Thursday, July 25, 2024
HomeMedicEmergency Services Network to receive £28.6m investment

Emergency Services Network to receive £28.6m investment

Moves to replace Airwave with a proposed new Emergency Services Network (ESN) may finally be picking up pace.

In July, the House of Commons Public Account Committee raised doubts about the chances of success of the project. However, investment now seems to be being unlocked to progress the project, which the government sees using 4G to “give first responders immediate access to life-saving data, images and information in live situations and emergencies on the frontline”.

Last week, for example, The Home Office announced it was signing up PA Consulting to provide cyber security services for the emerging network. Now, that £6-7m two-year contract is being bolstered by two requests for bids on some core ESN componentry.

The first is a £160,000 piece of work on development of an ESN TETRA/ MCX Interworking Gateway Solution out of the group running the project, the Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme (ESMCP).

Specifically, The Home Office wants interconnectivity software development services to help bridge the transition from existing emergency networks to the ESN.

During transition to ESN, communications between Emergency Service users must be maintained between the existing and future services through a key transitional technical solution described as “Interworking”.

Interworking will allow members of a talk group on the legacy TETRA system to communicate with members of a corresponding communications group on ESN, and vice versa, it states.

Now, ESMCP wants to hear from the market about the possible supply of an Interworking Gateway Product and related services in a possible £15m procurement.

ESMCP will be publishing a Request for Information later this month to enable suppliers to respond and participate in discussions in relation to their existing and potential solutions for a Gateway and services.

It’s early days here, but ESMCP has in parallel also said it wants to hear from suppliers about a possible £13.6m MCX (Mission Critical Communications) Standalone Dispatcher and related services.

That’s technology that uses LTE 4G and 5G standards to support secure communications.

Estimated date of publication of contract notice will be no earlier than mid-January 2024.

(Source: UKAuthority)


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