The Home Office has contracted APD Communications to develop critical software to integrate blue light organisations and other public services with the forthcoming Emergency Services Network (ESN).
ESN is intended to replace the UK’s existing TETRA-based Airwave network and the Home Office is leading a cross-government programme to deliver it. It will provide police, fire and rescue and ambulance services as well as other public safety organisations with voice and data services.
The contract means APD will create an integration solution to connect emergency services to ESN, with the old and new systems working in tandem. It will pave the way to individual services and agencies undergoing a managed migration to the new advanced communications network. APD is the first supplier to be contracted to deliver ESN integration.
Mike Isherwood, managing director, APD, said, “We are delighted the Home Office has placed this significant contract with us, which reaffirms our position as the control room market leader and as a global control room leader in LTE solutions. It’s a significant badge of honour and will allow us to ensure all our customers are at the forefront of technology and operational efficiency, enabling them employ the most modern methods for interacting with, serving and protecting the public.”
The Home Office contract runs to January 2021 and requires APD to produce control room technology, which will be trialled by lead force Thames Valley Police. A subsequent nationwide rollout is expected to take place in 2021 and 2022.
Isherwood added, “The Home Office has placed its trust in us, on behalf of all the organisations it represents, to produce the control room technology required to connect with ESN. Subsequently it will be down to each individual service to make the transition, supported by our software solution. This is an absolutely critical step towards an exciting future. The primary objective is to continue to protect the public during this migration, ensuring a business as usual transition.
“After successful migration, the focus will shift to improving and enhancing services to the public through the use of this next generation technology to deploy a new wave of applications, such as enhanced location services and live video steaming, that will help public services to be more efficient, more effective and share information more easily.”
APD’s mission-critical communications and control solutions are used by more than two thirds of UK police forces, as well as other emergency services organisations. The company also provides critical software for major transportation hubs, including Gatwick and Dubai international airports and the London Underground.
Author: Charlotte Hathway