EE Contracts Nokia for Public-Safety LTE Air-to-Ground Network
Wednesday, June 17, 2020 | Comments

EE, part of BT Group, signed an agreement with Nokia to build what it called an industry-first nationwide LTE air-to-ground network for the emergency services across Great Britain. The air-to-ground network will seamlessly integrate with the national Emergency Services Network (ESN) ground network.

The 4G network will enable uninterrupted high-speed broadband coverage for emergency service personnel working above ground from 500 feet up to 10,000 feet. As part of the agreement, EE and Nokia will enable mission-critical network coverage for emergency services that will be the world’s first use case using commercial LTE broadband services in its field.

The air-to-ground network will provide seamless connectivity between ground operations and air, connecting people, sensors, aircraft and helicopters with the highest security and reliability. More than 300,000 emergency service personnel will benefit from the ESN, which is designed to facilitate uninterrupted coverage allowing emergency services the capability to communicate with their airborne colleagues.

As part of the agreement, EE will provide the active network equipment for a full reference facility and an initial seven-site trial network. Following the trial, EE will deploy the network equipment in more than 80 Home Office-acquired cell sites across the United Kingdom. Nokia will provide design support, network equipment, installation and commissioning services to ensure timely delivery of the ESN LTE air-to-ground network.

The first trial will take place during the coming months in North Wales and London, enabling EE, Nokia and the Home Office to test the hardware capability over different terrain along with the hardware deployment process, the software capability, and the operational support of the complete air-to-ground service, prior to the rollout of the final air-to-ground network.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Nokia to build a first-in-class and ground-breaking 4G air-to-ground network for emergency services across the U.K,” said Richard Harrap, managing director ESN at EE. “Our deployment of this reinforces our network leadership as the UK’s biggest and fastest mobile network, and harnesses Nokia’s deep expertise in network equipment and installation of an air-to-ground solution.”

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