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ESN – latest news and the story so far…

21 November, 2014

The Home Office has announced it would be engaging with suppliers on detailed requirements for the new Emergency Services Network (ESN).

A Prior Information Notice (PIN) has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) stating that the Home Office will engage suppliers regarding four separate parts of the contract for the new ESN: user devices, air to ground service and devices, vehicle installation and control room upgrades.

Minister of State for Policing, Criminal Justice and Victims Mike Penning said: “A modernised communications network is vital to help the emergency services protect the public and save lives. We are on track to deliver this critical part of our national infrastructure by 2017.

“We have seen strong interest in providing the new emergency services network and its supporting elements. I am confident that the organisations we select will create a communications network that is the best in the world.”

Tenders for the contracts will be submitted in the near future and will then be subject to detailed evaluation. Contracts will be awarded in 2015 and the new ESN will go live from 2017, as existing contracts expire.

The new network is being developed in close partnership with the emergency services and will add broadband data capabilities that will help save lives.

Background: Emergency services mobile communications programme

The emergency services mobile communications programme (ESMCP) is a cross-government, multi-agency programme that will deliver the communication system of the future to the emergency services and other public safety users (known as sharers) throughout Great Britain. This system will be called the Emergency Services Network (ESN).

The programme governance structure includes representation from the 3ES (and their sponsor departments), Cabinet Office, and Welsh and Scottish governments.

What is the Emergency Services Network?

ESN is the name of the mobile communications network that will provide integrated critical voice and broadband data services to all 3 emergency services (police, fire and ambulance).

What does ESN want to achieve?

ESN will deliver integrated critical voice and broadband services that are:

• enhanced - to provide integrated broadband services to meet user need

• flexible - to better match and be responsive to user demand

• affordable - to address budget pressures on user budgets


In addition to the emergency services, over 300 other organisations are active users of the current communication service. These organisations are known as sharers. ESMCP is working with them to optimise their transition to ESN, enabling them to benefit from economies of scale and maintain existing interoperability arrangements.

Market engagement

ESMCP carried out several months of market engagement activities with suppliers throughout 2013 and in early 2014. This specified period of engagement identified that:

• the requirements can be met by the market

• important areas of functionality and capability were demonstrated by multiple suppliers


Having confirmed that the market had the technical capability to deliver the communication service the 3ES deserve, the programme progressed to the procurement stage.

The ESMCP contract notice was published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) on 14 April 2014, marking the launch of the tender process. Potential suppliers were asked to respond to a pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) to allow them to compete to provide 1 or more of the procurement lots which together comprise ESN.

Procurement lots

Lot 1 – ESN delivery partner (DP) – transition support, cross-lot integration and user support: a delivery partner to provide programme management services for cross-lot ESN integration; programme management services for transition; training support services; test assurance for cross-lot integration; and vehicle installation design and assurance.

Lot 2 – ESN user services (US) – a technical service integrator to provide end to end systems integration for the ESN: provide public safety communications services (including the development and operation of public safety applications); provide the necessary telecommunications infrastructure; user device management; customer support; and service management.

Lot 3 – ESN mobile services (MS) – a resilient mobile network: a network operator to provide an enhanced mobile communications service with highly available full coverage in the defined lot 3 area (in GB), highly available extended coverage over the lot 4 telecommunications network, and technical interfaces to lots 2 and 4.

Lot 4 – ESN extension services (ES) – coverage beyond the lot 3 network: a neutral host to provide a highly available telecommunications network in the defined lot 4 areas to enable the lot 3 supplier to extend their coverage.

Programme timelines

• OJEU and PQQ issued – April 2014

• ITT (Invitation to Tender) issued – Summer 2014

• Tender return – Autumn 2014

ESN procurement latest

The pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) stage of the ESN procurement is now closed. The suppliers selected to progress through to the ITT stage of the procurement are as follows:

Lot 1 – ESN delivery partner; managing the transition from legacy to new systems:

• Atkins Ltd

• Kellogg Brown and Root Ltd


• Lockheed Martin UK Ltd

• Mott MacDonald

Lot 2 – ESN user services; developing and operating the telecoms infrastructure and public safety applications, installing equipment and making sure everything is integrated and works:

• Airwave Solutions Ltd

• Astrium Ltd


• HP Enterprise Services UK Ltd

• Motorola Solutions Ltd UK

Lot 3 – ESN mobile services; providing an enhanced mobile communications network service:

• Airwave Solutions Ltd

• EE Ltd

• Telefonica UK Ltd

• UK Broadband Networks Ltd

• Vodafone Ltd

Lot 4 – ESN extension services; providing a highly available telecoms infrastructure covering parts of the UK outside commercial mobile network coverage:

• Airwave Solutions Ltd

• Arqiva

• EE Ltd

• Telefonica UK Ltd

• Vodafone Ltd

Related procurements

The programme will be inviting suppliers via PIN to further market engagement on potential opportunities in ESN related procurements.

User devices and accessories:

The device project is seeking to provide user devices and accessories for inclusion in an ESN device catalogue. The framework and initial set of approved user devices will be delivered by this project. However, the online catalogue will be procured and hosted as part of the user services (Lot 2) procurement. These devices will include, for example, a handheld, commercially available, off-the-shelf phone to a ruggedized version and a fixed vehicle mounted device to a large portable device that can also be docked in a vehicle. The programme plans to carry out market engagement in 2014 to develop the requirements and procurement approach.

Vehicle installations

The vehicle communications replacement project is seeking to provide a mechanism for the removal of legacy equipment and the installation of user devices and accessories into vehicles belonging to the emergency services. There are over 45,000 user organisation vehicles currently in operational service across Great Britain. The purpose of the vehicle communications replacement project is to provide a vehicle communications conversion to ESN for user organisations who are unable to source this capability locally. It will also involve testing and assurance of the installation. This project will also monitor the plans for the user organisations for the duration of the transition to the ESN between 2017 and 2019.

Air to ground (A2G) service

The A2G project is seeking to provide a national A2G radio communications service for the emergency services and other non-emergency responder organisations. The ESMCP requirements already include the provision of the ESN from ground level to a ceiling height (currently 500ft above ground level). The project will maintain interworking throughout transition and enable the supply of A2G radio devices, compatible with the future A2G network service, for installation into aircraft. The programme plans to carry out market engagement in 2014 to develop the requirements and procurement approach.

Air to ground (A2G) radio devices

The A2G project is seeking to provide compatible A2G radio devices to access the A2G service. This includes the provision, design and implementation of such A2G radio devices to comply with airworthiness regulations. The project will deliver an airborne radio device(s) for users to install in their aircraft.

Control rooms

In addition to the 4 procurements, ESMCP are also looking to engage the market on control room upgrades as part of the ongoing transition work for ESN. The Control room upgrades and inter-working project is a critical part of the programme that will ensure that control room users have full access to ESN. At this time ESMCP envisages that these upgrades will be procured locally by 3ES or their sponsoring departments/devolved departments. Upgrades will consist of, but not be limited to:

• Integrated Command and Control Systems (ICCS)

• mobile data systems

• fire mobilising systems

• command and control systems

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"Are you confident the Emergency Services Network will be delivered successfully and on time?"