Netherlands switches on new emergency service comms network

The Dutch government has confirmed the successful transition to a new emergency service communications network.

The migration to its new C2000 system took place on Monday night during which time the previous voice network was put on standby while the new network became operational.

The migration process had been carefully prepared over the past few months by the national police, ambulance service, fire service and users at the Ministry of Defence under the supervision of the Ministry of Justice and Security. This meant emergency services provisions continued as normal, without any noticeable disruption for residents, due to planned workarounds.

Mobile radio telephones and walkie-talkies did not have any coverage for several hours, so the emergency services carried out their work using alternative procedures and means of communication, including using mobile phones. The emergency number 112 also remained accessible, and nationwide coverage was restored immediately after the migration was completed.

The network was upgraded to ensure it can sustain future requirements for effective mobile communications between the emergency services. The new network, like its predecessor, is based on the international TETRA standard and emergency service providers can continue to use their current mobile radio telephones and walkie-talkies.

The government has said that, “as with any new system”, it expects the new C2000 network to take some getting used to for both users and system administrators. The performance of the upgraded voice network will be closely monitored, with additional support will be provided should any teething problems emerge.

Over 80,000 emergency service providers use C2000 to communicate with the control room and each other 24/7. In addition to their day-to-day activities, they use the secure system during major incidents and disasters.