New strategic direction established for ESN

The Home Office has announced that it has set a new strategic direction for the Emergency Services Network (ESN) following an in-depth review, which will save the public £200 million a year. Once it has fully replaced the original radio-based network, Airwave, the new approach means police, fire and rescue services, ambulance services and other users will be able to use data services over the network from early next year, with voice capabilities following soon after. The plans enables the emergency services to test and choose which ESN products they want as and when they become available, rather than having to wait for the network to be fully implemented. ESN also has the potential to enable emergency services to communicate on the London Underground. The dedicated 4G network will transform emergency services’ mobile working, especially in remote areas and at times of network congestion, with sim cards giving them priority over commercial users. Products will also include a ‘push-to-talk’ capability for mobile phones, effectively turning them into emergency service radios with data capability.


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