EE confirms UK emergency services 4G deal

Mobile operator EE has been selected by the UK government to deliver a mobile network specifically for 300,000 emergency services workers.

The Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme is a £1 billion government initiative with the aim of bringing 4G to UK critical comms, replacing the existing TETRA system. While this is a good win for EE, it was somewhat of a foregone conclusion once its only competitor for the gig – O2 – pulled out of the tender earlier this year. It’s also bit of a marketing coup for EE, which can now stress how durable and reliable its network must be to have ‘won’ the contract.

“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.”

The phased transition to this new emergency services network will start in mid-2017. EE says it’s going to add over 500 new 4G sites to meet its obligations and will activate 800MHz spectrum on 3,800 sites to enhance rural and indoor coverage, as well as satellite backhaul for the most remote areas.

Motorola Solutions won the system integration and maintenance gig in similar circumstances as it was the only remaining bidder. “As a company trusted with providing emergency and public safety agencies with innovative, reliable and secure critical communications technology, we are honoured to have been selected for this opportunity,” said Manuel Torres of Motorola Solutions. “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.”

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