The Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme (ESMCP) has started testing Emergency Services Network coverage, using its recently-announced solution ESN Assure.
The first phase of testing is currently taking place across England and Wales, using an initial roll out of one hundred mobile devices issued to a variety of different emergency services staff. Assure is an app-based product, developed by Telent and specifically designed to test broadband signal coverage.
Speaking of the latest phase of ESN, an ESMCP spokesperson said: "Services staff in the north east, south west, the West Midlands and Wales will now test the new 4G mobile network, provided by EE, from a variety of locations in their areas and feedback the results. Their reports will inform how coverage can be further improved before the programme moves onto the next stage of delivery."
The next stage of the programme will be the pilot of another product known as ESN Connect, which is a SIM-only network data plan designed to provide "fast, secure and reliable data connectivity for vehicles and device-to-device connectivity."
ESN is replacing the TETRA-based Airwave network currently used by the emergency services. The UK Home office believes that the network will ultimately save the taxpayer £200m a year, while also transforming how frontline staff communicate through the use of broadband rather than narrowband.
Author: Philip Mason