EE, Motorola Solutions Awarded Contracts for U.K. Public Safety LTE Network
Thursday, December 10, 2015 | Comments
The U.K. government’s Home Office awarded the final two contracts for its new Emergency Services Network (ESN). U.K. commercial mobile operator EE won the Lot 3 contract, and Motorola Solutions was awarded the Lot 2 contract for user services for the network that will be used by more than 300,000 emergency and public service officials from more than 300 agencies.

Signing of the final contracts follows the announcement in the U.K. Spending Review that the government committed an additional £1 billion (US$1.5 billion) to overhaul the ESN. The new network is expected to save taxpayers £1 million (US$1.5 million) a day, a Home Office statement said.

The government’s £1 billion Emergency Services Mobile Communications Program (ESMCP) will see EE’s 4G U.K. network expand coverage and enhance resilience to meet the emergency services’ critical communications requirements, an EE statement said.

The new ESN will replace the existing TETRA system, operated by Airwave and with infrastructure equipment from Motorola Solutions, from mid-2017 as current contracts expire. Motorola Solutions announced last week it will buy Airwave for US$1.2 billion.

EE previously committed to spend £1.5 billion (US$2.3 billion) on its network up to 2017 and will increase that investment to deliver the ESN. Work to enhance and expand the EE network has already commenced to be ready in time for the first transitions.

EE said it will do the following to deliver the mission-critical ESN:
• 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 800 MHz 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 voice over Long Term Evolution (VoLTE) 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

EE runs the U.K.’s biggest and fastest mobile network, with about 14,000 employees and 550 retail stores and serves more than 31 million customers across its mobile, fixed and wholesale businesses. The carrier’s 4G coverage reaches 94 percent of the U.K. population, with unique double speed 4G reaching 75 percent. EE’s 2G coverage reaches 99 percent of the population, while 3G reaches 98 percent.

In addition to user services, Motorola Solutions will provide system integration and critical functionality for the new public safety LTE network. In August, the Home Office awarded Lot 1 of the contract to Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) as the delivery partner for the program.

“We are immensely proud to be selected to deliver this vital new network for Britain’s emergency services,” said EE CEO Olaf Swantee. “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.”

ESN will support voice and broadband data services, such as the ability to send photos and video, for Great Britain’s police, fire, rescue, ambulance and other public services. In a statement, Motorola Solutions said it is implementing the three largest public-safety LTE networks in the world, located in Los Angeles County, United States, and two Middle Eastern countries.

“As a company trusted with providing emergency and public safety agencies with innovative, reliable and secure critical communications technology, we are honored to have been selected for this opportunity,” said Manuel Torres, senior vice president of Motorola Solutions Europe and North Africa sales and support services. “We share ESN’s commitment and vision to equipping emergency and public service agencies with the functionality and capabilities that a broadband-based network can offer.”

Sandra Wendelken is editor of MissionCritical Communications and RadioResource International magazines. Contact her at

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